Monday, 19.06.2023 - Tuesday, 07.11.2023

The Progressive Migration Working Group – Bridging the gaps in the EU-African Migration Dialogue

The simplest definition of migration is the movement of persons from one place to another. However, features of migration are much more complex than that. Push factors in countries of origin and pull factors in countries of destination as well as other individual drivers of migration are key aspects that need to feature in any policy framework. The migration of Africans to European countries is no different. Riddled with an unfounded and mostly inaccurate rhetoric about why, how and who migrates to Europe from Africa, policy and legal instruments aimed at governing migration between the two continents have been largely ineffective and fragmented. As FES AMPC we thus view the EU-Africa dialogue as a key pillar of our work on the continent.

The simplest definition of migration is the movement of persons from one place to another. However, features of migration are much more complex than that. Push factors in countries of origin and pull factors in countries of destination as well as other individual drivers of migration are key aspects that need to feature in any policy framework. The migration of Africans to European countries is no different. Riddled with an unfounded and mostly inaccurate rhetoric about why, how and who migrates to Europe from Africa, policy and legal instruments aimed at governing migration between the two continents have been largely ineffective and fragmented. As FES AMPC we thus view the EU-Africa dialogue as a key pillar of our work on the continent. 

Recognizing this, in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung European Union office, the Foundation of European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, FES AMPC (formerly FMCC) set up and co-convened the Progressive Migration Working Group (PMG) between June 2023 and November 2023. Composed equally of African and European migration experts, the group came together in two meetings in Barcelona and Addis Ababa to discuss common migration topics, thereby bringing together views and expertise from both continents. The group was chaired by Mrs. Anna Terron Cusi, former Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration of the Government of Spain (2010-2011) and current Director of the Fundación Internacional y para Iberoamérica de Administración y Políticas Públicas. Benefitting from the various institutional affiliations (intergovernmental, academic, research and policy-oriented etc.) and the different backgrounds of PMG experts, the debates drew a rich and comprehensive picture of relevant aspects in migration cooperation between Europe and Africa.

During the first meeting in Barcelona in June 2023, the following topics were discussed: labor migration to Europe in the auspices of decent work and social rights, the new EU asylum and migration pact and the impact of diverting development cooperation funds as a result of the Ukraine war. The second meeting in Addis Ababa in September 2023 then zoomed in on the topics of remittances in the context of Africa, the coherence of EU policies with migration policies at the EU and member states level as well as the need to move away from the externalization of migration policies. Selected members of the working group took the enriching insight from experts representing the two continents and drafted policy briefs with concrete recommendations on the six topics identified above.

Concluding the 2023 work of the working group, the co-conveners organized a breakfast meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels in November 2023 to discuss findings and recommendations of the PMG with Members of the European Parliament and representatives from international organizations, civil society and think-tanks. Four members of the working group presented some of the key issues highlighted in the policy briefs. The ensuing discussion among participants then mainly focused on the need to collectively manage migration as opposed to policies and schemes being developed and implemented from a strictly Euro-centric perspective.

Members of the working group also stressed the need for accurate narratives regarding migration from Africa to Europe. There has been a development towards increasingly negative images, resulting in ineffective migration policies. Furthermore, it was emphasized that EU migration policies should not impede the efforts of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities or AU member states with regard to regional integration schemes and the free movement of persons. More detailed information on the discussions and recommendations can be found in the policy briefs provided below.

Link for Briefs:

[A no-win situation: Deconstructing the efficacy of EU externalisation policies form an African perspective]

[The "irregular" distraction in the new pact: Entry points for Europe and Africa]

[Bridging the gap between Eu migration and development policies: Towards an updated policy coherence for development approach]

Contact

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
African Migration Policy Center

Yeka Subcity, Woreda 05, Block No.03, House No. 109
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
https://maps.app.goo.gl/XgCq1gNZPrY8J8Ra6

00251 11-1233245/46
00251 11-1233855

info.ampc@fes.de

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