“Ultimately ECOWAS, like ourselves is an organization, which the member states (…) have decided to put together. So [it] depends on the resources, the commitment and the political will that member states put into the common project” (EU, EEAS staff, Brussels).
The pressure to act on the prevalence of illegal migrants from West Africa to Europe lead policy makers to locate migration policy initiatives to the inter-regional level to the EU and the ECOWAS. However, the enquiry into this recent development reveals that regional actors have been heavily restricted in initiating migration policies. National member states passed on the hostile attitudes of voters on labor migration policies and granted regional actors only a highly limited mandate. Like this, the regional actors, too, were prevented to initiate a political migration framework in response to the socio-economic changes.
The inter-regional cooperation on migration evaded to the area of migration & development. Interventions were located within the West African region, aiming at enhancing intra-regional migration. However, such migration policy initiatives experienced limitations of a similar nature. West African governments showed reluctance with implementing the free movement of people on the intra-regional level in the face of their tensed national labor markets. In this regard, the inter-regional initiatives, which targeted intra-regional migration on the political level showed as little potential to mitigate the prevailing socio-economic challenges and illegal migration movements as did the national political initiatives. >>> read Part IV. of I./II./III./IV./V./VI. <<<