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(ZeitOnline) A balance of European migration policy shows: Fighting the causes of flight with money can backfire.

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Migration Policy:Harmful helps

A balance of European migration policy shows: Fighting the causes of flight with money can backfire.
By Caterina Lobenstein
Migration policy: Migration policy is causing economic damage in many places, warns a SWP study.
Migration policy is causing economic damage in many places, warns a SWP study. © Ashraf Shazly / AFP / Getty Images

A few years ago, when Europe's leaders embarked on a new course in refugee policy, that sounded reasonable: they did not want to fightmigrants and refugees, but the causes of their escape . This is how the German Chancellor put it, as the heads of government in France, Italy and Eastern Europe put it. Since then, they have been giving a lot of money for this policy; Over the past three years, the EU has increased its budget by 75 percent. The Trust Fund for Africa alone covers almost 3.5 billion euros, in addition, the EU wants to raise more than 40 billion euros from private investors

In the end, both sides will benefit: the Africans, because at last that ominous dynamic of poverty, corruption and violence could be broken, which has already put so many people to flight. And the Europeans, because they would have to provide fewer migrants and refugees. Government leaders like Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron could finally announce the message that would help them stay in power: we have the migration problem under control. >From the European point of view, the billion-dollar policy of controlling the cause of flight was from the beginning intended as a kind of domestic calming pill. And it looks like it will work: In 2017 , significantly fewer people came to Europe from Africa than the year before.

However, the pill has side effects. Which exactly, a new study of the foundation science and politics (SWP), which is present the time. The SWP, an independent research institute for foreign and security policy in Berlin, is one of the most important advisors of the Federal Government. In the study, the Foundation's migration and Africa experts warn European governments against reliance on rapid successes, that is, falling refugee numbers. The migration policy of the EU is characterized by a "fixation on migration statistics". The fact that she casually strengthens autocrats and causes economic damage in many places, has hitherto largely hidden.

Researchers have researched in countries such as Morocco and Niger, Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea, and have spoken with politicians, representatives of civil society and international organizations.

They have observed two fundamental problems. First, European money should be used to pay for a sharper watch on the Mediterranean coast and the borders of Africa - but not in all states does this tactic apply. For example, because some states do not want to give up the money that citizens who flee to Europe send back to their relatives in their homeland. The sum of these remittances is significantly higher in many countries than the development aid they receive. This point is also noteworthy because in the German Ministry of the Interior, there are still officials who believe that almost everything can be managed with European money in Africa.

In the end, both sides will benefit: the Africans, because at last that ominous dynamic of poverty, corruption and violence could be broken, which has already put so many people to flight. And the Europeans, because they would have to provide fewer migrants and refugees. Government leaders like Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron could finally announce the message that would help them stay in power: we have the migration problem under control. From the European point of view, the billion-dollar policy of controlling the cause of flight was from the beginning intended as a kind of domestic calming pill. And it looks like it will work: In 2017 , significantly fewer people came to Europe from Africa than the year before.

However, the pill has side effects. Which exactly, a new study of the foundation science and politics (SWP), which is present the time. The SWP, an independent research institute for foreign and security policy in Berlin, is one of the most important advisors of the Federal Government. In the study, the Foundation's migration and Africa experts warn European governments against reliance on rapid successes, that is, falling refugee numbers. The migration policy of the EU is characterized by a "fixation on migration statistics". The fact that she casually strengthens autocrats and causes economic damage in many places, has hitherto largely hidden.

Researchers have researched in countries such as Morocco and Niger, Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea, and have spoken with politicians, representatives of civil society and international organizations.

They have observed two fundamental problems. First, European money should be used to pay for a sharper watch on the Mediterranean coast and the borders of Africa - but not in all states does this tactic apply. For example, because some states do not want to give up the money that citizens who flee to Europe send back to their relatives in their homeland. The sum of these remittances is significantly higher in many countries than the development aid they receive. This point is also noteworthy because in the German Ministry of the Interior, there are still officials who believe that almost everything can be managed with European money in Africa.
(Software translation)

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