Despite the reluctance of most African countries to enter into standard readmission agreements, alternative methods of bilateral co‐operation with European countries on enforced return have gained momentum over the last decade. These alternative methods of co‐operation
include memoranda of understanding, exchanges of letters, pacts, and police co‐operation agreements, which include a readmission clause. They do not constitute standard readmission agreements. However, they are agreements with serious implications
on state‐to‐state co‐operation. The first part of this paper addresses the reasons and factors that have contributed to this new compromise on the complex issue of readmission or enforced return. The second part examines the implications of such alternative
readmission co‐operation methods on policy‐making and shows that their geographical scope is strategically embedded in a broader interaction framework.