Seeing the perceived inadequacy of traditional policy instruments aimed at migration control, European policy-makers have, since the early 2000s, increasingly turned to cooperation with migrant-sending and transit countries to better manage migration. While there is a growing body of literature focusing on the EU’s instruments and external modes of interactions, we still lack knowledge on the perspective and agency of migrant-sending countries in the global south. This chapter seeks to contribute to our understanding by analysing the response of Ghana, a West African country moving increasingly in the focus of EU external action in the migration field. Building on expert interviews and fieldwork in Accra, it is argued that the EU has achieved several of its migration-related objectives vis-à-vis Ghana including tighter and more regulation, enhanced border control capacities and a stronger awareness of the migration issue. Yet, the intensified cooperation and aid offers have not materialised in a more comprehensive cooperation on return issues, which are a priority for the EU. Ghanaian actors have keenly guarded their agency in the return field. Member States and the EU as a whole have struggled to incentivise Ghana, albeit the United Kingdom (UK) is a notable exception in this regard.
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