Designing labour migration policies that work for the EU and African countries

Progressive Migration Group series

Policy Brief


In 2022, all 27 EU countries experienced labour shortages, a trend that is anticipated to persist across all skill levels across the EU. Given the scale and nature of labour shortages in EU member states’ economies, countries will need non-EU workers to fill in gaps in the labour market. However, challenges arise due to prevailing hostile attitudes towards immigration within EU countries, hindering effective solutions to domestic labour shortages through non-EU workforce integration.

In the context of Africa, labour migration to the EU can play a key role in Africa’s development provided that policies are designed with African interests in mind. To achieve this, it is crucial for African countries to actively participate in designing labour migration agreements, ensuring their interests are safeguarded and co-ownership is established.

This policy brief delves into the intricate dynamics of Africa-EU labour migration, hoping to shed light on key complexities and provides recommendations on how to improve labour migration policy to benefit both parties. These proposals emphasise the importance of fostering improved communication regarding the necessity of labour migration to the EU, implementing more effective integration policies, and developing labour migration agreements that are developed in the interests of African countries.

Progressive Migration Group

FEPS, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung EU Office and Fondation Jean-Jaurès came together to establish the Progressive Migration Group (PMG). The group, chaired by Anna Terron Cusi and composed of African and European migration experts, explores the relations and cooperation between the European Union and the countries of origin and transit, with the aspiration of abandoning the prevailing stagnant narratives surrounding migration, and, above all, with the ambition of formulating innovative recommendations and policy proposals for progressive forces at the EU and national levels in the field of migration management as well as in other policy areas that have an impact on migration causes and flows.

In particular, the project focuses on how these complex relations have been interpreted and translated into policies by the EU institutions, mostly aimed at curbing (irregular) migration by externalising migration control and management. This is a component of EU policy still prevailing in the (New) Pact for Asylum and Migration.

The PMG formulates alternative migration schemes between Africa and Europe that take on board this more profound understanding of this nexus.

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by IPS Journal 13/11/2023
IPS Journal article about FEPS policy briefs 'Communicating on migration'