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Protecting is Not Enough: Promoting the Right of Migrants Not to Flee Their Home. The EU Challenge of Development and Migration

Serena Marini


In light of the unprecedented European migration crisis, current EU policy strategies aim at gradually and increasingly integrating the existing development policy instruments into migration policy, namely as regards long-term measures to address the root causes of illegal migration and forced displacement: ending the migration crisis requires addressing the “push” factors. The EU Global Strategy and the new European Consensus on Development, as well as the principal instruments structuring EU external migration policy, explicitly highlight the nexus between development and migration. This link is of utmost importance as regards the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the new European External Investment Plan, and is particularly underlined in the new Migration Partnership Framework, whose principal aim is to strengthen cooperation with individual third countries, particularly in Africa, a continent where major crises continue to emerge. Consequently, development cooperation has been increasingly conceived as a major tool to serve migration policy interests, namely promoting European security interests. Its function appears twofold: on the one hand, it works as a preventive instrument in order to stem illegal migration in countries of origin and transit; on the other hand, it facilitates “non-authorised migrants” return, being used as a lever to reward countries’ determination to cooperate with the EU in the field: what is often referred to as a “carrot-and-stick” strategy. This growing influence of security concerns on EU development policy entails a series of challenges as well as risks. The latter concern primarily the potential diverting of EU development cooperation from its own primary objective as embedded in the Treaty of Lisbon – the eradication of poverty – to the possible detriment of the respect for the principle of Policy Coherence for Development.


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