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16 Sep 2020

Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean - Chapter 30

Free movement policies and border controls: regional migration governance systems in West and North Africa and Europe, and their interactions
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Most States in West and North Africa and in Europe are part of free movement areas. The trend towards lifting intraregional border controls has, however, unfolded in parallel with a trend towards tightening external border controls. This chapter analyses how the two trends have shaped regional and transregional migration governance in West and North Africa and in Europe. It first looks at regional policy structures in West and North Africa, then analyses how these are integrated in wider continental trends and how they interact with free movement policies in Europe. The chapter draws on an analysis of policies of the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and the European Union. It finds that, even though free movement policies were adopted quite early in ECOWAS and the European Union, and have been discussed for a long time within AMU and the African Union, their implementation remains challenging, due to political and socioeconomic differences between member States, to different migration-related interests and to growing interregional dependencies.