Effects of Externalisation: EU Migration Management in Africa and the Middle East

Current migration towards Europe triggers political and social contestations. Preventing irregular immigration has become a major European priority and is also important to the UK and Nordic countries. To this end, partnerships with migrant origin and transit countries are central, and large amounts of EU, UK and Nordic public funds are invested in building the infrastructure of external migration management. Yet, migration is key for development across countries in Africa and the Middle East and it may seem paradoxical that they collaborate with European partners to reduce migration and increase returns.

While studies thoroughly scrutinise these policies in continental Europe, the incentives and impact beyond Europe have largely been unexplored. This project focuses on the effects of EU migration management policies in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal. By examining how multiple actors in each country navigate competing global and national priorities on migration in an EU-centric policy context, the EFFEXT project provides insights into the broader dynamics of policy institutionalisation, implementation and impact.

The project contributes to the research field by 1) advancing theory on migration management through foregrounding the perspectives of governments and stakeholders in MENA and SSA; 2) developing excellent research that enhances the knowledge-base for equitable and coherent policymaking, and; 3) breaking new analytical ground by combining an innovative multi-scalar and interdisciplinary methodology. It is crucial to find ways to address the legitimate concerns of partner countries to ensure consensual partnerships and coherence in policy agendas, and ultimately enhance migration management. By ethnographically exploring the cross-scale effects of the EU’s external migration policy in SSA and MENA, this project responds to this need.


Siri Bjarnar. Photo: NordForsk

Siri Jørgensen Bjarnar

Leder for operativ virksomhet
Jakob Chortsen

Jakob Chortsen

Senior kommunikasjonsrådgiver

Lise-Lotte Wallenius