Free movement in Africa and migration to Europe

Belgium, Brussels, 1000, Martens Centre HQ, Rue du Commerce 20, 1st floor
Thursday, September 12 2019 / 12:30

In February 2019, member states of the African Union announced the intention to create an area of free movement across the African continent, accompanied by a single African passport. This intention goes hand in hand with efforts to liberalise trade among the African countries and allow the free circulation of goods and services. The European Union (EU) is supporting these efforts. At the same time, to reduce irregular migration headed to Europe, the EU and its member states have been assisting in developing migration and border management policies in Africa, and in North Africa in particular.

A number of questions arise: How realistic is the creation of an African free movement area, given the armed conflicts on the continent and given the relatively low administrative capacity in some countries? Can an African free movement area work in the face of the existing inter-state suspicions? Is the current emphasis on migration and border management in the EU's external policy detrimental to the African economies which often rely on informal cross-border traffic? Or is the EU’s policy of migration deterrence simply ineffective and a waste of public money?

Registration and light lunch will start as of 12.00.