The report noted the EU is divided over whether to use coercive measures like withholding development aid or sanctions or employ political and economic incentives to encourage other nations to cooperate on migrant management.
In particular, the commission has warned that it would use its visa policy to encourage countries to take their citizens back. In July, after many Iraqi migrants crossed from Belarus into EU member Lithuania, the commission threatened to impose visa restrictions on Iraqi diplomats and officials.
The move was meant to “stimulate Iraq to improve its cooperation” in accepting the return of its citizens who are refused entry into Europe, according to the commission. Flights from Iraq into the Belarusian capital of Minsk – once numbering four a week – abruptly stopped.
But Brincat said “the bottom line, if you ask me, is that you cannot force cooperation by threatening a country to fall into place. It has to be a give and take arrangement, and there has to be one important component between both sides: the element of trust.”
Brincat urged the commission to rapidly develop incentives to encourage outside countries to take their people back, but said that visa restrictions “will continue to be used on several occasions.”
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