The European Business Council for Africa

EBCAM at ‘’The EU-Africa migration agenda – realising a new partnership’’

ODA, Brussels, 24 April 2024


Migration has been a controversial theme across Europe for many years now, with particular implications for the EU’s partnership with Africa. At the same time, there is extensive evidence that migration has the potential to help alleviate many of the great global challenges, including poverty and the impacts of climate change. While in Europe migration is often presented as a ‘problem to be tackled’, the discourse in Africa is more strongly oriented towards the opportunities of migration. And while the EU has focused on using aid to reduce irregular migration and support return and reintegration, many sectors of European labour markets remain strongly dependent on migrant workers, including in many low-paid, but essential, occupations.

The EU has recognised that existing modes of cooperation around development objectives are insufficient in the context of current challenges and is pursuing a paradigm shift to partnership. Changes in approaches to development cooperation between Europe and Africa, the proliferation of migration cooperation agreements and moves to introduce new negative conditionalities have also raised new questions. Ahead of the new European Commission in 2024 and the 3rd AU-EU ministerial summit, this event explored what could be done to deliver a migration partnership more strongly oriented towards mutual developmental benefits. Speakers assessed all aspects of the migration partnership, exploring challenges and concerns at this time of heightened tensions, reform and electoral change.

This panel event took place ahead of a major ODI-MIGNEX Policy Conference on the direction and shape of EU migration and development policy, taking place at Résidence Palace, Brussels on 25 April. 

Video recording of the meeting

Source: ODI