On the Benefit of African Immigration to Europe: Turn in the EU Immigration Policy?
Institute of African Affairs at German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
Deember 6, 2006
A growing number of Africans flee from their desolate economic situation or violent conflicts and political persecution at home to Europe. The European Union shares responsibility for this growing economic misery, in view of its egoistic external trade policy. Nevertheless, it intensifies the foreclosure of its external borders. Thereby, the escape routes become even more dangerous; thousands die every year. The European-African migration summits in Rabat and Tripoli in June and November 2006 even strengthened this policy of exclusion. Yet, well adapted immigration regulations would serve the interest of all parties involved. Last, but not least, it could contribute to protect the over-aged population of European member states in the long run against threatening economic decline. Even Germany and France meanwhile hesitantly accept the fact that they are an immigration country. The EU commission endorses a limited and temporarily restricted immigration of Africans. However, two fundamental problems remain unsolved. Cost and benefit of immigration are distributed asymmetrically between the social classes. In addition, the EU favours the admission of high skilled labour, which tends to strengthen the "brain drain" from Africa even more, while millions of unskilled irregular migrants compete with the growing army of unemployed in the host countries. Both will aggravate the imminent danger of violent conflicts and of right-wing extremism in the immigration regions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: International migration, Africa, EU, economic development, trade policy, human rights
JEL Classification: F22, F35, F42, F53, N17, N37, N44, O15, O2, O52working papers series
Date posted: December 6, 2006
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