Eight myths on the migration–development nexus that European and African policymakers need to reconsider

Schöfberger, Irene / Bernardo Venturi
External Publications (2018)

published on European Think Tanks Group (ETTG) July 10,2018


While currently on-trend, migration is not a new topic in Africa–EU political discussions. On the contrary, the EU ́s engagement with African countries on migration dates back to the early 2000s. At the beginning, both development and security-oriented approaches were adopted. However, in recent years a shift towards security and border control has occurred. This shift has also influenced the way the migration–development nexus has been framed. As a result, a security-inspired nexus has emerged. Based on this nexus, misconceptions on migration and development have gained relevance. Addressing these misconceptions is crucial. African and European states are currently negotiating: a) an agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and b) a new Africa–EU partnership. Migration is already an essential element in these negotiation processes. Each of the policy frameworks under negotiation will be essential both for international relations and for migration trends in the next decades. In order to be effective, they need to be based on research evidence. In this policy brief, we take one step back and look at eight myths on migration and development, providing insights on evidence for each of them. Then, we look at what this means for current negotiations on the ACP–EU agreement and on the Africa–EU partnership. We target European and African policymakers.

Further experts

Christ, Simone

Social Anthropology 

Ekoh, Susan S.

Environmental Research 

Flaig, Merlin

Social Science 

Hadank-Rauch, Rebecca

Environmental and Development Sciences 

Haug, Sebastian

Political Science 

Jaji, Rose


Kuhnt, Jana

Development Economist 

Martin-Shields, Charles

Political Scientist 

Mehl, Regine

Political Science 

Morare, Ditebogo Modiegi

Political Science 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Scientist 

Olekseyuk, Zoryana


Schraven, Benjamin

Political Scientist 

Stewart, Benjamin

Social Science 

Volz, Ulrich


Wehrmann, Dorothea


Wingens, Christopher

Political Scientiest