THE EU-AFRICA PARTNERSHIP: THE EU’s CHANGING POLICY TOWARDS AFRICAN IRREGULAR MIGRATION

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/116989
http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:21-dspace-1169891
http://dx.doi.org/10.15496/publikation-58364
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Date: 2021-07-09
Language: English
Faculty: 6 Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Politikwissenschaft
Advisor: Diez, Thomas (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2021-05-12
DDC Classifikation: 320 - Political science
Other Keywords:
Africa
European Union
irregular migration
root causes
Africa-EU partnership
License: Publishing license excluding print on demand
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Abstract:

The EU is changing its African irregular migration management approach from control measures and border protection to addressing the root causes. In 2015, during the EU-Africa Valetta Summit on irregular migration control, the EU took an unprecedented migration management approach - it established the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, whose fundamental objective is to address the root causes of African irregular migration. Recent migration studies suggest that the African partners influenced the EU policy change within the Africa-EU partnership framework. The study aimed to answer the question: how did the African partner countries participate in influencing the EU’s shift of migration policy from border control mechanisms to addressing the root causes of African irregular migration? The study was guided by rhetorical action and used rhetorical analysis as a research methodology. Using official/diplomatic and unofficial rhetoric before, during, and after the 2015 Valletta Summit, the study examined how African and European actors framed rhetoric on African irregular migration to Europe. The study found that the attempt to link African irregular migration to Europe and coloniality started as early as 2008. During the 2015 EU-Africa Valletta summit, African actors were pro-active in articulating the rhetoric of root causes, which links to neo-colonialism, contrary to the then-dominant rhetoric of border control maintained by the EU actors. As a result, having a strong normative identity, the EU found itself morally entrapped. It could neither reject the validity of the African partners' rhetoric of the need to address the root causes of irregular migration nor defend itself against the accusations of inconsistency in its external actions. In other words, the EU was left without an alternative other than embarking on the rhetoric of addressing the root causes of African irregular migration. This policy move can be explained as the EU’s effort to build the legitimacy of its external actions in irregular migration management to African partners.

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