This paper analyses the role of third countries in the governance of EU migration policy. The Stockholmprogramme calls for 'a comprehensive partnership with countries of origin and transit' on migration. TheCommission in particular has recognized the necessity of cooperation with third countries on migration. But towhich extent are these third countries able to play a role in the governance of EU migration policy? There isconsiderable disagreement in the literature. Authors such as Chou (2006) argue that third countries are not ableto influence the content of predetermined EU policies. Others such as van Criekinge (2010) argue that thirdcountries increasingly manage to use their strategic importance for EU migration policy-making for their owninterests. This paper contributes to the debate through a case study of the Mobility Partnerships. Pilotpartnerships have so far been agreed with Moldova, Cape Verde and Georgia, but negotiations with Senegalfailed in 2009. The paper compares the cases of Senegal and Cape Verde in order to determine the role playedby these countries in the negotiations with the EU. The analysis is based on extensive fieldwork in EU institutions,member states and third countries.
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