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  • Author: Frederik Stender, Axel Berger, Clara Brandi, Jakob Schwab
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: This study provides early ex-post empirical evidence on the effects of provisionally applied Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on two-way trade flows between the European Union (EU) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Employing the gravity model of trade, we do not find a general EPA effect on total exports from ACP countries to the EU nor on total exports from the EU to ACP countries. We do, however, find heterogeneous effects when focusing on specific agreements and economic sectors. While the agreement between the EU and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), which concluded several years ahead of the other EPAs in 2008, if anything, reduced imports from the EU overall, the provisional application of the other EPAs seems to have at least partly led to increased imports from the EU to some partner countries. More specifically, the estimation results suggest an increase in the total imports from the EU only in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) EPA partner countries. On the sectoral level, by comparison, we find increases in the EU’s agricultural exports to SADC, Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and the Pacific. Lastly, in the area of manufactures trade, we find decreases of exports of the ESA and SADC countries to the EU, but increases in imports from the EU into SADC countries. While this early assessment of the EPA effects merits attention given the importance of monitoring future implications of these agreements, it is still too early for a final verdict on the EPAs’ effects and future research is needed to investigate the mid- and long-term consequences of these agreements.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Manufacturing, Trade
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Africa, Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, European Union
  • Author: Irene Schöfberger
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) has been struggling to find a shared course on African migration since the entry into force of the Schengen Agreement (1995). It has done so through two interrelated processes of negotiation. Firstly, parties have negotiated narrative frames about migration and, in particular, whether migration should be interpreted in terms of security or in terms of development. Secondly, they have negotiated internal and external migration policies, that is, how migration should be managed respectively inside the EU (based on cooperation between EU member states) and outside it (based on cooperation with third states). In times in which narrative frames increasingly shape policy negotiations, it becomes very important to analyse how policymakers negotiate narrative frames on migration and how these shape policy responses. However, such an analysis is still missing. This discussion paper investigates how European states and institutions have negotiated the relation between EU borders and African mobility between 1999 and the beginning of 2019. It focusses in particular on how the process of negotiation of migration policies has been interrelated with a process of negotiation of narrative frames on migration. It does so based on an analysis of EU policy documents from 1999 to 2019 and on interviews with representatives of European and African states and regional organisations. Two major trends have characterised related EU negotiation processes: migration-security narrative frames have strengthened national-oriented and solid borders-oriented approaches (and vice versa), and migration-development narrative frames have strengthened transnational-oriented and liquid borders-oriented approaches (and vice versa). Since 1999, the European Council has mostly represented security- and national-oriented approaches, and the European Commission has mostly represented development- and transnational-oriented approaches. The two competing approaches have always been interlinked and influenced each other. However, in the last years, security-oriented national and solid border approaches have gained prominence over development-oriented transnational and liquid border approaches. In particular, the Commission has progressively mainstreamed national objectives in its transnational actions and security concerns in its development measures. Prioritising security over transnational development has augmented inequalities, in particular at the expenses of actors with scarce political representation in Africa and the EU. Such inequalities include increasing migrant selectivity and wage dumping.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation, Migration, History, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Africa, European Union
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: Establishing free movement regimes is an ambition for most African regional economic communities, and such regimes are widely understood as important for regional integration, growth and development. However, in recent years the EU’s migration policies and priorities in Africa - which are narrowly focused on stemming irregular migration to Europe – appear to be in tension with African ambitions for free movement. This paper examines how the EU’s current political engagement and programming on migration in Africa is impacting on African ambitions to establish free movement regimes. It focuses first on the continental level, and then looks in-depth at two regional economic communities: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the Horn of Africa, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The paper begins by examining how free movement has featured within both EU and African migration agendas in recent years, describing how this issue has been increasingly sidelined within the EU’s migration policy framework, while receiving growing attention by the African Union. The paper then discusses the impact of EU migration policies and programmes on progress towards regional free movement in the IGAD region. It finds that the EU is broadly supportive of efforts to establish an IGAD free movement regime, although in practice gives this little priority in comparison with other migration issues. The paper goes on to examine the EU’s engagement in the ECOWAS region, which is strongly focused on preventing irregular migration and returning irregular migrants. It asks whether there is an innate tension between this EU agenda and the ambitions of ECOWAS to fully realise its existing free movement regime, and argues that the EU’s current engagement in West Africa is actively undermining free movement. Finally, the paper discusses the differences between the EU’s approach to migration and free movement in these two regions. It offers recommendations regarding how the EU can strengthen its support for free movement in both these regions, as well as more broadly in Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Migration, Regional Cooperation, Economic growth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, European Union
  • Author: Clare Castillejo
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: The European Union’s (EU) Migration Partnership Framework (MPF) was established in June 2016 and seeks to mobilise the instruments, resources and influence of both the EU and member states to establish cooperation with partner countries in order to “sustainably manage migration flows” (European Commission, 2017a, p. 2). Its strong focus on EU interests and positive and negative incentives mark a departure from previous EU migration initiatives and have generated significant controversy. This Discussion Paper examines the politics, implementation and impact of the MPF more than one year on from its establishment, asking what lessons it offers for the future direction of EU migration policy. The paper begins by introducing the MPF and examining the different perspectives of EU actors on the framework. It finds that there is significant disagreement both among EU member states and within EU institutions over the MPF’s approach and priorities. The paper explores the political and ethical controversies that the MPF has generated, including regarding its ambition to subordinate other areas of external action to migration goals; its use of incentives; and its undermining of EU development and human rights principles. The paper assesses the implementation and impact of the MPF in its five priority countries – Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. It argues that the concrete achievements of the migration partnerships have been limited; that the MPF has largely failed to incentivise the cooperation that the EU was seeking; and that the EU’s migration programming in MPF partner countries has suffered from serious flaws. The paper takes an in-depth look at the Ethiopia partnership, which has been the most challenging. It describes how the interests and goals of the EU and Ethiopia have not aligned themselves, how the issue of returns has come to entirely overshadow engagement, and how the relationship between the partners has been soured. The paper goes on to examine how the MPF relates to African interests and how it has affected EU-Africa relations, arguing that the MPF approach is seen by many African actors as imposing EU interests and undermining African unity and continental ambitions. Finally, it explores how the EU can develop engagement with Africa on migration issues that is more realistic, constructive, and sustainable, with the aim of fostering intra-African movement and economic opportunities; ensuring protection for refugees and vulnerable migrants; and allowing both continents to benefit from large-scale, safe and orderly African labour migration to Europe. However, it warns that any such shift will require a change in mindset by European leaders and populations.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Migration, Labor Issues, Refugees, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Ethiopia, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, European Union