Academic article

EU migration management in the Sahel: unintended consequneces on the ground in Niger?

Published: 20 Aug 2020

The policies implemented in the Sahel by the EU and individual member states have reduced the number of migrants transiting through the region towards Europe. However, the sustainability of this approach should be questioned as it may also increase domestic tensions in politically fragile and administratively weak states, leading to increased pressure on political and social systems that already are struggling to stay afloat. Thus, whereas making a country like Niger an integral partof European migration management may seem successful, the approach of the EU may also have several unintended consequences. This paper will critically examine the EU’s crisis response towards the Sahel with a particular focus on Niger and the city of Agadez, arguing that while EU’s approach may have reduced the number of migrants passing through Agadez, it could also come to undermine a number of local compromises that so far have helped Niger display higher resilience towards the crises that are quickly destabilising neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali.