Issue-Linkage in International Migration Governance: Trade Agreements as Venues for “Market Power Europe”?
NCCR Working Paper No 2013/11 by Sandra Lavenex and Flavia Jurje (University of Lucerne) (currently under review by the Journal of Common Market Studies).
In the absence of an international migration regime, the rising salience of migration issues and the limits of unilateral policies lead states and the European Union to seek appropriate venues for cooperation with the sending and transit countries of migrants. Many of the newer relevant multilateral or regional venues are soft law frameworks, as for example the Global Forum for Migration and Development or the EU’s Global Approach to Migration. In contrast, trade agreements provide a formal, hard law instrument for inserting migration clauses thus, allowing for politics of issue-linkage and capitalizing on market access that may boost the leverage of the economically dominant party. This article investigates whether the EU is indeed acting strategically through its widespread net of trade agreements in the promotion of its migration policy goals toward third countries, and thereby provides a solid empirical test of its acclaimed identity as “trade” or “market power”.