Development Aid, Migration and Conditionality

Lívia Benková: Development Aid, Migration and Conditionality – The Case of the Marshall Plan with Africa, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies Policy Brief Analyses, May 2020



This policy brief analyses the current efforts by the EU and its member states to provide development aid to third countries. It concentrates on the Marshall Plan with Africa. Proposed by Germany, this plan is intended to bring cooperation between Europe and Africa to a new level. The study examines this plan in light of debates on the impact of development aid on third countries in general, and on migratory dynamics in particular. The specific focus is on aid conditionality related to cooperation on migration. The brief shows that increasing development aid does not necessarily lead to a decrease in migration. The available evidence suggests that conditionality in the provision of development aid is not effective in reducing the propensity to migrate.

The policy brief makes recommendations for future EU–Africa cooperation, in the hope that mistakes which have repeatedly been made can be avoided. It recommends that, to ensure a regular dialogue between the two continents, Africa should remain high on the agendas of both the EU and the member states. To decrease irregular migration, legal pathways should be created and the struggle against smuggling networks should be stepped up. Migration-related conditions should be attached to the provision of development aid only with caution. Aid ought to be primarily targeted at creating good governance and strengthening public services.

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