African Perspectives

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Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

With financial support of the European Parliament

Addressing root causes of irregular migration: dead-end or egg of Columbus?

How do you look at migration? This is an important question, but we don't ask it often enough. We certainly don't ask African stakeholders often enough. At Afrikadag 2019 we do ask this question! Because how can we, as EU countries, do justice to African perspectives on migration, if we don't know them. Join us and give us your input.

Sometimes, we tend to forget that migration is something of all times. However, since summer 2015, migration has been high on the agenda in Dutch and European politics. For example, there was a lot of commotion around the Global Compact for Migration. This compact, the first internationally negotiated agreement to define a collective commitment to improve cooperation on international migration, showed how much political opinions differed when it comes to how to deal with migration. And while migration to the EU has decreased, the debate has been drawn to the extremes. Migration has become a very emotional discussion on which a rational dialogue is almost impossible.

The Dutch government has adopted a course with respect to migration and development formed by the policy papers Harbers (March 2018) and Kaag (May 2018). These papers describe how the government works to limit irregular migration by addressing the root causes. But what exactly are those root causes? People’s reasons to migrate are often very complex. At the same time, research has shown that more development actually increases migration.

So is the Dutch migration policy on the right track? Or are we heading in the wrong direction? The first results of the Dutch policy, investigated by the own inspection service IOB, provide at least a few burning questions.

At Afrikadag 2019, during the session 'Addressing root causes of irregular migration' a panel from the Netherlands, Europe and Africa debates several political statements. Can aid reduce irregular migration? Should this be an objective? What are bad examples and best practices? And most of all, how can the EU do justice to the different perspectives on migration? A very interesting debate with personal stories and promising experiences. Sign up and discuss with us!

Photo by: Maurice Weiss