Migration management clientelism: Europe’s migration funds as a global political project (2022)

In response to the 2015 migration ‘crisis’, the European Union intensified the externalisation of its migration policies, in particular through the EU Trust Funds for Syria and Africa, and the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. The legal construction of these financial measures is such that in many projects, normal implementation and public procurement procedures are not applied. This creates opportunities for clientelism. A limited number of actors (Europe’s ‘clients’) has emerged to implement European policies in third countries. This way of implementing externalisation projects will first be analysed in functionalist terms and in terms of path dependency. The paper will conclude by arguing that, in addition to such analyses, this way of implementing externalisation is to be understood as (a) expanding the scope of legitimate action of European states outside their territory; and (b) setting norms for international actors such as non-European states, international organisations and corporations.

Migration Management Clientelism. Europe’s migration funds as a global political project, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 48(2022)12, 2892-2907