Effects of Externalisation: EU Migration Management in Africa and the Middle East (EFFEXT)

This project explores how multiple actors in Africa and the Middle East navigate competing global and national priorities on migration management in an EU-centric policy context.

This project examines the effects of the European Union’s (EU) external migration management policies from the perspectives of six major countries of origin, transit and destination in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Current migration towards Europe triggers political and social contestations. Preventing irregular immigration has become a major European priority and is also important to the UK and Nordic countries. To this end, partnerships with migrant origin and transit countries are central, and large amounts of EU, UK and Nordic public funds are invested in building the infrastructure of external migration management. Yet, migration is key for development across countries in Africa and the Middle East and it may seem paradoxical that they collaborate with European partners to reduce migration and increase returns. While studies thoroughly scrutinise these policies in continental Europe, the incentives and impact beyond Europe have largely been unexplored.

This project focuses on the effects of EU migration management policies in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal. By examining how multiple actors in each country navigate competing global and national priorities on migration in an EU-centric policy context, the EFFEXT project provides insights into the broader dynamics of policy institutionalisation, implementation and impact.

The project is based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen, Norway and GDI is one of the institutional partners along with the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) and the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University.

The project is part of the Joint Nordic-UK research program on Migration and Integration funded by NordForsk and the UKRI ESRC.

Dr Oliver Bakewell will be leading this project at GDI and will be responsible for co-ordinating the Ethiopia case-study and work on analytical comparison and theory development across all case studies.