IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

African Migration to Europe: Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions


  • Dirk Kohnert

    () (GIGA Institute of African Affairs)


The number of migrants from conflict regions in Africa has been increasing dramatically. The European Union shares dual responsibility for the continuing migration pressure: First, because it fostered over decades corrupt and autocratic regimes with dire disregard to principles of ‘good governance’. The aftermath of these regimes is still felt today and constitutes one of the underlying factors for politically motivated migration. Second, the EU contributed to Africa’s economic misery due to its selfish external trade policy. Nevertheless, the prevailing perspective of the EU and of its member countries concerning African immigration remains to be focused on security, the foreclosure of its external borders and prevention. Current EU programs and concepts to fight African migration are questionable. Even development-oriented approaches are bound to fail, if not backed by sustainable immigration policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Kohnert, 2007. "African Migration to Europe: Obscured Responsibilities and Common Misconceptions," GIGA Working Paper Series 49, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:49

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Escobal, Javier, 2001. "The Determinants of Nonfarm Income Diversification in Rural Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 497-508, March.
    2. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 1996. "Income portfolios in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania: Choices and constraints," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 850-875.
    3. Reardon, Thomas & Taylor, J. Edward, 1996. "Agroclimatic shock, income inequality, and poverty: Evidence from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 901-914, May.
    4. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "Intersectoral Transfer, Growth, and Inequality in Rural Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 481-496, March.
    5. Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 735-747, May.
    6. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-740, September.
    7. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
    8. Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2001. "Income Strategies Among Rural Households in Mexico: The Role of Off-farm Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 467-480, March.
    9. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
    10. Barrett, C. B. & Reardon, T. & Webb, P., 2001. "Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 315-331, August.
    11. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, P. B. R. & Reardon, Thomas, 2002. "Strategies for stimulating poverty-alleviating growth in the rural nonfarm economy in developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Islam, Nurul, 1997. "The nonfarm sector and rural development: review of issues and evidence," 2020 vision discussion papers 22, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies, and Safety Nets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 141-166, September.
    14. Christopher B. Barrett, 2005. "Rural poverty dynamics: development policy implications," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 32(s1), pages 45-60, January.
    15. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bezuneh, Mesfin & Aboud, Abdillahi, 2001. "Income diversification, poverty traps and policy shocks in Cote d'Ivoire and Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 367-384, August.
    16. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Activities and Poverty in the Brazilian Northeast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 509-528, March.
    17. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bezuneh, Mesfin & Clay, Daniel C. & Reardon, Thomas, 2001. "Heterogeneous Contraints, Incentives, and Income Diversification Strategies in Rural Africa," Working Papers 179567, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    18. Thomas Reardon & J. Edward Taylor & Kostas Stamoulis & Peter Lanjouw & Arsenio Balisacan, 2000. "Effects of Non-Farm Employment on Rural Income Inequality in Developing Countries: An Investment Perspective," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 266-288.
    19. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Geographic Poverty Traps?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 86, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
    20. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    21. Corral, Leonardo & Reardon, Thomas, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Incomes in Nicaragua," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 427-442, March.
    22. Islam, Nurul, 1997. "The nonfarm sector and rural development," 2020 vision briefs 47, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Langthaler, Margarita & Hornoff, Sandra, 2008. "Braindrain und seine Auswirkungen auf Entwicklungsländer," Working Papers 20, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    2. Livia Elisa Ortensi & Patrizia Farina & Alessio Menonna, 2015. "Improving estimates of the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting among migrants in Western countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(18), pages 543-562, February.
    3. Dirk Kohnert, 2008. "EU-African Economic Relations: Continuing Dominance Traded for Aid?," GIGA Working Paper Series 82, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    4. Amelie F. Constant & Bienvenue N. Tien, 2009. "Brainy Africans to Fortress Europe: For Money or Colonial Vestiges?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 965, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Aliu, Armando, 2012. "International Migration and the European Union Relations in the Context of a Comparison of Western Balkans and North African Countries: Controlling Migration and Hybrid Model," MPRA Paper 38931, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Migration; West Africa; Europe; remittances; brain-drain; foreign trade policy; security; circular migration.;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F35 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Aid
    • F42 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:49. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann) or (Howard Loewen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.