African Migration to Europe: Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions

GIGA Working Paper No. 49

25 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2007

See all articles by Dirk Kohnert

Dirk Kohnert

GIGA - Hamburg, Institute of African Affairs

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2007


The number of migrants from conflict regions in Africa has been increasing dramatically. The European Union shares dual responsibility for the continuing migration pressure: First, because it fostered over decades corrupt and autocratic regimes with dire disregard to principles of 'good governance'. The aftermath of these regimes is still felt today and constitutes one of the underlying factors for politically motivated migration. Second, the EU contributed to Africa's economic misery due to its selfish external trade policy. Nevertheless, the prevailing perspective of the EU and of its member countries concerning African immigration remains to be focused on security, the foreclosure of its external borders and prevention. Current EU programs and concepts to fight African migration are questionable. Even development-oriented approaches are bound to fail, if not backed by sustainable immigration policies.

Keywords: migration, West Africa, Europe, remittances, brain-drain, foreign trade policy, security, circular migration

JEL Classification: F22, F35, F42, F53, N17, N37, N44, O15, O2, R23

Suggested Citation

Kohnert, Dirk, African Migration to Europe: Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions (May 2007). GIGA Working Paper No. 49, Available at SSRN: or

Dirk Kohnert (Contact Author)

GIGA - Hamburg, Institute of African Affairs ( email )

German Inst. of Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
D-20354 Hamburg


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