[Translate to English:] auf einem foto der Weltkugel spannen sich Fäden zwischen Deutschland und dem afrikanischen Kontinent

Giving fresh impetus to Germany’s collaboration with Africa on migration

Cooperation with African countries on migration policy is becoming increasingly important for Germany. It has been dominated by a restrictive approach to migration in Europe in recent years and characterized by a wide range of challenges, but it has a new and promising dynamic at the same time. In this year of the Germany EU Council Presidency, it is decisive to use this momentum for partnership-based and dialogue-oriented cooperation on migration.


The Policy Brief “Giving fresh impetus to Germany’s collaboration with Africa on migration” currently published by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, makes suggestions how such collaboration based on partnership – “that is worthy of the name” – can work more successfully.

To that end, the text dismantles myths and facts of African migration, which continue to inform German and European policymaking: thus, migration from Africa to Europa cannot be predicted as it depends on a complexity of factors; furthermore, the large majority of African migration, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, takes place on the continent and will most likely continue doing so.

On that base, the Policy Brief provides a short and to the point overview of current German and EU migration policy making, which has particularly changed since the ‘displacement crisis’ in 2015. Since, it has been ever more focusing on restrictive aspects of migration management along the predominant narrative of ‘fighting the root causes of flight and (irregular) migration’.

Contrary to that, the migration policy of African states differs widely and is not necessarily of major relevance. Current projects of central importance are the intracontinental integration through an African free trade area, including inner-African mobility and migration. While collaboration between the EU, European and African countries has been largely asymmetrical so far, despite of a discourse of partnership, both sides depend on each other.

As way forward, the Policy Brief suggests reciprocity instead of one-sidedness by acknowledging asymmetries, implementing the existing agreements and involving relevant actors at all levels. Furthermore, it makes an emphasis on the central role of migration and mobility. Our project manager Susanne Schultz underlines, “there need to be created more proactive and accessible legal migratory ways - beneficial for all sides - in order to enable a credible collaboration on migration policy based on a concept of partnership between Germany and African states.”