Originally posted August, 2010

Readmission Agreements are a mechanism for countering illegal immigration. Such agreements involve reciprocal undertakings to return illegal residents (or irregular migrants) to their country of origin or transit.This special edition of MEI Viewpoints brings together extensive research on agreements between European and North African states. The following chapters explore what can be argued as the unbalanced costs and benefits for all parties. While the format of this collection is different from past editions of MEI Viewpoints and the essays explore the subject matter in greater depth, Unbalanced Reciprocities nonetheless builds on the three recently published volumes on Migration and the Arab World. And it represents MEI’s continuing commitment to bring fresh issues and voices to the attention of our readers.

Parts of this volume originally stem from a workshop that took place in the framework of the 9th Mediterranean Research Meeting in Montecatini Terme (Italy) organized by the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies (RSCAS) at the European University Institute (EUI). Our first debt is to the authors who participated in this event and who then accepted to revise their drafts to contribute to this volume.

Special thanks go to Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Matthew Gibney, Ettore Greco, Antonella Guarneri, Lourdes Hernandez Martin, George Joffé, Christina Oelgemoller, Marion Panizzon, Delphine Perrin, Nathalie Tocci, Anna Triandafyllidou and Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo who provided valuable feedback and suggestions on some sections of this volume.

This project would not have been possible without the instrumental support of John Calabrese and his team at the Middle East Institute (Washington, DC) who shepherded the overall publication process.