23/03/2022 – MGSoG/UNU-MERIT Seminar “Governance of Remittances and Migration”

The EU has been investing significantly in economic development in West Africa, however, the scope of this economic support often goes beyond the mere improvement of the region’s social and economic well-being, as the EU has been using its assistance also to negotiate cooperation with countries of origin or transit on migration governance. In addition, Brussels is treating remittances, development, and migration policy in different and often incompatible and conflictual ways, when in fact they are tightly interconnected. Does foreign aid really determine West African migration policy? What if Brussel’s policy aimed at curbing human mobility is based on wrongful assumptions? The evidence seems to show that the perspective of West African governments on the current situation and their understanding of the concept of migration governance mismatch Europe’s expectations. Based on this emerging incongruity, I aim to shed some light on the reasons behind the West-African variety of migration policy strategies, starting from Africa’s point of view.

About the speaker

Martina Abisso is a Ph.D. researcher at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs, where she is researching for JustRemit the Governance of Migration and Remittances between the European Union and West Africa. Her background is in EU International Relations, with a focus on the challenges of human mobility. Before her Ph.D. candidacy, Martina worked for the Italian Ministry of Interior at the immigration office in Trieste. Specifically, she operated within Area IV which concerns Civil Rights, Citizenship, Legal Status of Foreigners, Immigration, and Asylum rights.

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