, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 583-612
Date: 09 Nov 2012

On the institutional design of burden sharing when financing external border enforcement in the EU

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Illegal immigration affects not only EU member states adjacent, but also those distant from the Mediterranean Sea due to open internal borders and intra-EU onward migration. Member states without a direct influx of illegal immigrants may therefore free-ride on border countries’ enforcement efforts, leading to a sub-optimal level of border control when immigration policy remains uncoordinated. By applying a numerical example, we show that an expected externality mechanism leads to voluntary preference revelation with respect to immigration policy under several (but not all) scenarios, thereby avoiding strategic behavior in the regular negotiation process. This policy measure requires, however, the EU Commission to take on a very active role as moderator between member states (rather than as legislator).

The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for very helpful comments and suggestions.