The EU must prioritise the maritime dimension of migration from West Africa

Keijzer, Niels / Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood
External Publications (2023)

published on, 08.02.2023

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The EU is insistent on combatting the ‘root causes’ of migration. Yet this has led it to overlook other reasons why people leave their homeland. Niels Keijzer and Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood argue these include the threatened livelihoods of coastal communities in the Gulf of Guinea. Among the many crises confronting the European Union, you might easily overlook the demographic one it faces at home. The EU's population is ageing rapidly. Between 2001 and 2021, the percentage of its citizens aged 65 and over increased from 5% to 21%. Meanwhile, the proportion of young people under 20 decreased by 3%, to 20%. Since the 1990s, net migration to the EU has been the main driver of the Union’s continuing population growth. Given these demographics, and given that the EU derives most of its global standing as the world's largest trade bloc, one might rationally expect the EU to consider migration policy a key tool to retain and consolidate this position. Yet migration policy is strongly contested in the European Union. And this is largely due to important differences between its 27 member states, who retain policy competencies on immigration policy. Currently, the EU’s desired New Pact on Migration and Asylum remains a distant dream rather than a political reality.

About the author

Keijzer, Niels

Social Science


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