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Sergio Carrera, Leonhard den Hertog and Marco Stefan

The EU-Turkey deal represents one of the most emblematic EU responses to the refugee crisis. Over two years since its adoption, profound doubts still exist as to the legality of the deal under EU law. This chapter illustrates the peculiar processes through which the initiative was concluded and implemented, and highlights the negative impact that such measures produced on the coherent application of EU primary law and fundamental rights. The non-legally binding and intergovernmental nature of the deal fundamentally challenges the constitutional rules that, in a post-Lisbon Treaty framework, govern the EU external dimension of the Area of Freedom Security and Justice. Acting outside the Treaties, the EU institutions, and most notably the European Commission, the European Council, and the Council of the European Union, managed to circumvent the democratic and judicial guarantees that, in the EU legal system, should apply to the fields of borders, asylum, and readmission.