I find it difficult to be optimistic about the prospects of negotiations on Euro African cooperation regarding migrant movements and related socioeconomic give-and-take. Since the heyday of neo-colonialism in Africa, things have not improved much. Through the IMF and other bodies, the West imposed its neo-liberal model of development on most African countries. Privatisation, the removal of protectionism, and tailor-made forms of project tied aid supposedly liberalised economies but failed to trigger sufficient growth. They confirmed the pattern of extractive industries and agricultural commodity production where value added was produced by among others, European and Chinese MNCs outside Africa. Urbanisation accelerated, farm communities dwindled and became poorer, jobs failed to materialise in townships. In this neoliberal context, unsurprisingly corruption and public mismanagement did not abate; they flourished. For hundreds of thousands of Africans, immigration became the only hope. Strictly speaking, in a neoliberal, globalised context, free movement of labour cannot be excised from a doctrine which preaches the virtues of free movement of goods and services worldwide. Conceptually and politically Europe is in a weak position to demand a transparent give-and-take from African countries over the mass emigration of their citizens.

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