This article examines the theoretical framework of the debate over sovereignty in the European Union and the state's powers of immigration control, adopting a neo-corporatist approach to assess the role of the state and its interlocutors in migration regulation. It provides an overview of three sets of third party agents incorporated in migration regulation by EU member states: international, private and local actors. In focusing on the institutional structures and norms that have emerged -- or rather been reinvented -- in the 1990s, the analysis connects with the broader questions raised in this special issue: namely, to what extent do these institutional forms open up new channels and opportunities for state regulation over migration? The dynamics behind these processes are briefly examined, particularly from the view of the state. What are the incentives/constraints and costs/benefits that keep these processes in motion? Finally, the conclusions draw implications for both state control and migration outcomes in the European Union. They suggest reinvented forms of state control and exclusion which may simultaneously generate diverse local outcomes.
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