Making policies work

Migration and international cooperation

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The permanent URL for this page is ecdpm.org/migration.

Migration is one powerful way out of poverty and has great potential for sustainable development. Flows of remittances exceed development aid, playing an important role in poverty reduction, relief and development. The opening of labour markets for international migrants can bring considerable economic gains for both sending and recipient countries as well as migrants themselves.

Yet migration and mobility – especially in the form of displacement or in the context of conflict and crisis – can put great pressure on governance systems and host communities. Today, there are more than 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide of which one third are refugees. Developing regions host 84% of the world’s refugees. 10.3 million people were newly displaced by conflict or persecution in 2016. Conflict, violence and disasters also caused 31.1 million new displacements in 2016. This has made migration a top priority on the international agenda.

How is migration affecting Africa-Europe relations? What are the African perspectives on migration and what are African leaders doing to tackle it at home? What has Europe done over the last years to regulate migration and what will be the EU’s next steps in the area of migration and mobility from third countries?

In this dossier, we look at how policymakers and other relevant actors are addressing migration and mobility issues. We try to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the complex phenomenon, acknowledging that Africa and Europe have different narratives, approaches and perceptions of migration – and the important links it shares with development processes.

Get in touch with us

If you would like to know more about our work on migration and mobility, please contact Anna Knoll (Head of Programme), Noemi Cascone (for enquiries related to food security, climate and other cross-thematic issues), and Tasnim Abderrahim (for enquiries related to North Africa). For media enquiries, please contact Virginia Mucchi.


EU and international cooperation on migration


The EU’s migration agenda – what about legal migration pathways?
Anna Knoll and Noemi Cascone, Great Insights article, 5 February 2018

The AU-EU Abidjan Summit: Is there life beyond migration?
Geert Laporte, ECDPM blog, 4 December 2017

The race to close the gateway to Europe
Tasnim Abderrahim, Great Insights article, November 2017

Migration und Entwicklung durch Entwicklungszusammenarbeit gestalten! [in German]
Anna Knoll, Noemi Cascone, 23 May 2017

Taking steps ahead: Towards a new vision for migration in 2017
Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 20 January 2017

Making Waves: Implications of the irregular migration and refugee situation on Official Development Assistance spending and practices in Europe
Report by Anna Knoll and Andrew Sherriff commissioned by the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA), February 2017

Challenges to a comprehensive and integrated EU migration and asylum policy
Anna Knoll, Raphaëlle Faure (ODI) and Mikaela Gavas (ODI), The Broker, 3 February 2016

The Valletta Summit: The EU’s new Trust Fund for Africa (Part two)
Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 20 November 2015

The Valletta Summit: A bond or a knot between Europe and Africa? (Part one)
Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 13 November 2015

Ask the right questions, get the right answers: The EU’s response to migration and its focus on root causes
Anna Knoll and Asmita Parshotam, ECDPM blog, 29 July 2015

Anna Knoll interviews David Khoudour of the OECD on the interaction between public policy, migration and development
ECDPM video interview, 22 July 2015

Challenges to a comprehensive EU migration and asylum policy
Joint briefing with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), December 2015

EU Trust Funds – Shaping more comprehensive external action?
ECDPM brief, November 2015

Making migration beneficial to Europe and Africa
Joint Policy Brief / Seminar Report with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO), November 2015

Anna Knoll discusses the upcoming Valletta Summit on migration
ECDPM podcast, November 2015

A safer entrance than Lampedusa? Will Juncker’s new Commission find good solutions for migration and development in EU external action?
Anna Knoll and Essete Abebe Bekele, ECDPM blog, 19 September 2014

Migration and Mobility: Integral Part of Sustainable Development
Background Note for the Informal Development Ministerial Meeting of the Italian Presidency, July 2014

Migration and Mobility in the Africa-EU Partnership: a breakthrough or more of the same?
Anna Knoll and Essete Abebe Bekele, ECDPM blog, 18 April 2014

Polarised discussions in EU Member States contradict the European Commission’s stance on migration
Anna Knoll and Niels Keijzer, ECDPM blog, 2 October 2013

Putting Policy Coherence for Development into Perspective: Supporting Switzerland’s Promotion of PCD in Commodities, Migration and Tax Policy
Anna Knoll, Florian Krätke, Niels Keijzer and Jorrit Oppewal, SDC, ECDPM, August 2013

Migration and Development Policies and Practices: A Mapping Study of Eleven European Countries and the European Commission
International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and ECDPM. Study commissioned and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, May 2013

ACP-EU Cooperation on Readmission: Where does it stand and where to go?
Henrike Klavert and Jeske van Seters, ECDPM brief, April 2012

The revision of Article 13 on Migration of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. What’s at stake for the ACP?
Eleonora Koeb and Henrike Hohmeister, ECDPM background note, February 2010


African perspectives on migration


Understanding African and European perspectives on migration: Towards a better partnership for regional migration governance?
Anna Knoll and Frauke de Weijer produced this ECDPM paper as an outcome of the event ‘Why do we need the Africa Union’, November 2016

The African Union – What role in tackling Africa’s challenges?
Contains section on how the African Union is tackling migration issues, 14 October 2016

Why do we need the African Union?
Conference report – Chapter 4 focuses on Migration, key narratives in Europe and Africa, 28 September 2016

African Union Frameworks for Migration: current issues and questions for the future
Henrike Klavert, ECDPM paper, June 2011


The North African perspective


Tunisia’s migration dilemma
Tasnim Abderrahim, ECDPM blog, 11 June 2018

Egypt under the spotlight: can it be a safe third country?
Tasnim Abderrahim and Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 17 March 2017

EU-Tunisia cooperation on migration: conflicting agendas?
Tasnim Abderrahim and Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 15 March 2017

The EU’s migration cooperation with North Africa: will the carrot and stick approach work?
Tasnim Abderrahim and Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 10 March 2017


Global agenda on migration


G20 in Hamburg and the migration agenda: How changing US policies are affecting global discussions
Noemi Cascone and Anna Knoll, ECDPM blog, 6 July 2017

A Challenging Road Ahead: International Migration and the Post-2015 Agenda
Anna Knoll, ECDPM Great Insights magazine, March 2013

Post-2015 Migration im Sinne einer nachhaltigen Entwicklung gestalten
Benjamin Schraven, Niels Keijzer and Anna Knoll, DIE Analysen und Stellungnahmen 1/2014, 2014

Will a post-2015 development framework acknowledge migration?
Anna Knoll and Niels Keijzer, in: Laczko, F., Lönnback, L.J. (eds.), 2013

Migration and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda
International Organization for Migration, August 2013

Labour Migration: From Absentee to a Key Driver in a Global Development Framework?
Anna Knoll and Niels Keijzer, German Development Institute – The Current Column, April 2013

European Report on Development (2013) – Post 2015: Global Action for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future
ODI, GDI/DIE and ECDPM, April 2013

Will a post-2015 development framework acknowledge migration?
Anna Knoll, Niels Keijzer, IOM Migration Policy Practice: vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 6-10, February-March 2013


Interaction between policies, migration and development realities


Focus on Migration: Moving backward, moving forward?
ECDPM Great Insights magazine, Winter 2018

Migration und Entwicklung durch Entwicklungszusammenarbeit gestalten!
Anna Knoll, Noemi Cascone, 23 May 2017

Anna Knoll interviews David Khoudour of the OECD on the interaction between public policy, migration and development
ECDPM video interview, 22 July 2015

Putting Policy Coherence for Development into Perspective: Supporting Switzerland’s Promotion of PCD in Commodities, Migration and Tax Policy
Anna Knoll, Florian Krätke, Niels Keijzer and Jorrit Oppewal, SDC, ECDPM, August 2013


Migration, food security and climate


The nexus between food and nutrition security, and migration: Clarifying the debate and charting a way forward
Anna Knoll, Francesco Rampa, Carmen Torres, Paulina Bizzotto and Noemi Cascone, ECDPM paper, May 2017