Legal and operational infrastructures of Exit regimes in the European Union

Publication date:
Arja Oomkens and Barak Kalir

ADMIGOV Deliverable 2.1 (2020)

This first deliverable for Work Package 2 (WP2) of the Advancing Alternative Migration Governance project (ADMIGOV) is an exercise in mapping the different existing Exit regimes in the EU. By Exit (with a capital E) we refer in this report specifically to the policies and practices that are aimed at having irregular migrants leave the territory of Member States of the European Union (EU) and of the EU as a whole. According to the glossary of the European Migration Network (EMN), whose terminology we use in this report, an irregular migrant is ‘a third-country national present on the territory of a Schengen State who does not fulfil, or no longer fulfils, the conditions of Entry as set out in the Regulation (EU) 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code) or other conditions for Entry, stay or residence in that EU Member State’.

By Exit regimes we refer to both the legal and operational infrastructure that governs Exit. Legal infrastructure refers to the formal procedures (laws, regulations, directives, readmission agreements, etc.) that, firstly, determine the illegalization of status for irregular migrants, and, secondly, outline the process that should result in their voluntary/assisted return or forced removal from EU territories. Operational infrastructure refers to the work of, and the investment in, state and non-state agencies responsible for the implementation of the process that is put forward by the legal infrastructure. The operational infrastructure thus includes agencies and organizations in charge of pre-removal detention, forced deportation, assisted and voluntary return programs, and partnership programs.