Development Aid, Migration and Conditionality – The Case of the Marshall Plan with Africa

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. It suggests that, to ensure a regular dialogue between the two continents, Africa should remain high on the agendas of both the EU and member states. Following the approach taken by the Marshall Plan with Africa, the brief argues that 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.

The views expressed in this paper are the sole responsibility of the author. They are not necessarily shared by the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies or the European People’s Party.

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