in: Sonia Lucarelli / Alessandro Marrone / Francesco N. Moro (eds.), Approaches to regional stability and the outlook for NATO, Brussels/Rome: NATO / Istituto Affarri Internazionali (IAI), 62-74
Since the peak of the so-called European migration crisis in 2015 the topics of (irregular) migration and forced displacement have been dominating public and political discourses in Europe as well as other parts of the world. After 2015 the external dimension of the European migration discourse has increasingly focused on the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa as the number of irregular (Sub- Saharan) migrants arriving in Europe by sea remained high. Ever since, Africa related initiatives on the EU level or on national levels have vastly increased in terms of numbers and financial volume. The general approach seems to be two-folded: one the one hand, development cooperation is regarded as a central tool in addressing forced displacement and irregular migration. The idea is that alongside measures of employment and business promotion create adequate economic perspectives for (potential) migrants to stay in their countries of origin. Supposedly, a highly dangerous trip across the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean will become increasingly unattractive because of these measures. On the other hand, migration control comprising of measures of border management and cooperation with security forces is regarded as a way to mitigate the flow of irregular migrants in transfer countries. In this context Defence Institution Building (DIB) has become a key element as it is not only meant to develop professional defence sectors and institutions, but it is also supposed to contribute to regional stability. This paper wants to provide a brief overview on the European efforts to limit (irregular) migration from Africa, the scientific debate on the interlinkages between development and migration as well as the complex root causes of migration processes. Based on that, some general conclusions and policy recommendations will be formulated.