Turning the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa Outside-In, or breaking it down?

By Rein Struyve

Promoted by Prof. dr. Jan Orbie

[October 2022]

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In 2015, the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) was launched at the Valletta top to tackle the root causes of migration in order to mitigate the flow of irregular migrants towards Europe. [1] However, due to the emphasis the EUTF placed on ‘migration management’, such as through border control mechanisms, it quickly became one of the most criticised instruments of the European Union’s external development policy. [2] 

At the same time, European integration – and the so-called peace project— is associated with an Enlightened cosmopolitan ideal. This claim was especially made after the Second World War, at the beginning of European integration. The idea was that by overcoming rivalry between antagonist member states such as Germany and France, solidarity on the continent would rise and the European Union could become a peaceful and thriving organisation.[3] The slogan ‘unity in diversity’ reflects this ideal. The cherry on top of this cosmopolitan European Union was the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in 2012.[4]

However, this virgin birth after the Second World War – as though this had nothing to do with the already powerful position of the European nation states— is subject to a lot of criticism.[5] Not in the least from postcolonial thinkers such as Gurminder Bhambra or Frantz Fanon. According to them, the European Union is not an example of a cosmopolitan, let alone peaceful, organisation. Firstly, cosmopolitan solidarity stops at the borders of the European continent, borders that are being externalised towards Africa in recent times.[6] Think about the harsh policies against migrants in the Mediterranean. Secondly, cosmopolitan solidarity within the European Union could be questioned, particularly when taking the inequalities between people inside the EU into account.[7] Furthermore, these postcolonial intellectuals accuse the European Union of a colonial amnesia. [8] By using a Eurocentric historiography, and thus epistemic violence, the European Union succeeded in framing itself as a cosmopolitan organisation, which it is not. They suggest a different kind of cosmopolitanism, namely: postcolonial cosmopolitanism.[9]

Building on these perspectives, in this paper, I aim to answer the question:

“Does the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa pass a postcolonial cosmopolitan test”

Due to the harsh critiques on the EUTF as a ‘development fund’, I selected the EUTF as least-likely case to succeed in passing the postcolonial cosmopolitan test. In addition, as the biggest achievement of the Valletta Summit, the EUTF has been one of the most important tools in the migration and development policy of the European Union in recent years.[10] Furthermore, 2015 was not only the year that the EUTF was founded, but it was also the start of the so called migration crisis. This research not only aims to evaluate the EUTF, but also to look at the historical structures of European external policy. I will for example examine the beginning of European integration and question whether bringing peace on the continent was the only driver. I aim to overcome the overly simplistic dichotomisation between a normative and a realistic union by looking trough a more critical lens.[11]

In order to answer the research question, I conduct a discourse analysis of four EUTF-projects. These four projects, namely concerning Libya, Niger, Mali, and Ethiopia, have been selected because of their prominence within the EUTF, covering most of the EUTF’s money flow.[12] Moreover, the four countries account for the three regions of the EUTF, and a project was selected from every EUTF-goal. To support the analysis, texts of postcolonial authors such as the works of Fischer-Onar and Nicolaïdis[13], Huber and Kamel[14], and Keukeleire and Lecocq[15] were processed into a practical framework.

Background on the EUTF and postcolonial cosmopolitanism


As mentioned above, the EUTF was founded at the Valletta Summit in 2015. It was planned to be in place during a five-year period, however, in 2021, it was prolonged by one year. As a crisis tool the fund is a relatively flexible mechanism. One of the biggest downsides is the lack of democratic control from the European Parliament.[16] The Fund focuses on three main windows or regions, which are: North-Africa, The Sahel and Lake Chad and the Horn of Africa. The EUTF’s four official goals are: (1) greater economic and employment opportunities, (2) strengthening resilience of communities, (3) improved migration management, and (4) improved governance and conflict prevention.[17]

The EUTF is characterised by a two-level policy structure: the strategic level, setting the objectives of the fund, and the operational level. The strategic level is led by the Trust Fund Board, which consists out of representatives from all donors (such as some the member states), the European Commission, the observers (like African countries) and non-donating observing EU member states. The operational level consists of three operational committees, each representing a window. They are responsible for selecting and assigning the projects that need financial resources. The committees consist of the European Commission and all other donors, but other organisations, like regional African organisations, can be observers as well.[18] In total, the EUTF had a budget of over five billion dollars, funded by various financial sources., with the largest part, €4.4 billion, stemming from the European Development Fund (EDF). Officially, this money is meant for development causes, however, it could be questioned if the EUTF respects this objective given the emphasis on migration management.[19]

Postcolonial cosmopolitanism

In this part, I try to challenge the cosmopolitan claim of the European Union by building on arguments of postcolonial cosmopolitan authors and drawing parallels between cosmopolitanism and colonialism. By doing so, it should become clear that the view of European cosmopolitanism as an antithesis of colonialism is false and mainly used for legitimising the colonial project. To conclude, I summarize the most important aspects of postcolonial cosmopolitanism.

A first element that should be pointed out when challenging European Cosmopolitanism, are the colonial roots of the infamous Eurafrica project. Defining figures of European integration project such as von Coudenhove-Kalergi, Konrad Adenauer or Walter Hallstein openly admitted that during the negotiations for the establishment of the European economic Community (EEC), a way was sought to transcend the national colonial projects. As stated by these founding fathers, the European Union could only fully develop by making use of the raw materials and geopolitical assets of the African continent. Furthermore, the complete appropriation of the African continent by the EEC, was a way of transcending antagonism between member states and thus achieving a cosmopolitan Europe.[20]

Secondly, when challenging the European cosmopolitan claim, we should not only look at the exclusion of non-European people, but also at the climate of exclusion inside the European Union. While diversity between the member states is celebrated, for example in the slogan of the European Union, diversity within the member states is rejected.[21] Moreover, it remains unclear for postcolonial authors why European cosmopolitanism could not be compatible with multiculturalism within the European Union. The only reason Bhambra sees is a visible distinction based on race, or perhaps more current, a distinction based on faith.[22] According to Balibar, this way the European Union introduces the concept of European apartheid, in which the visible characteristics of migrants both outside and within the European Union indicate the limits of European solidarity.[23]

Thirdly, questions can be raised about the fact that the European Union describes itself as liberal. Liberalism resonates with cosmopolitanism in a way that everyone can challenge hegemonic ideas. However, according to Baban, it is a form of illiberal liberalism that the European Union subjects migrants to their so-called ‘liberal’ values.[24] For example, in the deployment of integration tests.

Lastly, European elites instrumentalised Enlightenment thinking and cosmopolitanism during their colonial quest. The European colonial project could hardly be justified without a theory that makes it possible to intervene in other parts of the world.[25] Moreover, scientific racism, pledged during the period of ‘Enlightenment’, was instrumentalised as a way to justify bifurcation between ‘races’.[26] The Western capitalist liberalization further benefited from a cosmopolitan theory, which was used as a justification by policy makers. To illustrate, Kant often placed its Enlightenment thinking in a context of economic rationality. Naturally, capitalism benefits from a globalised cosmopolitanism, among other things by enabling the global travel of the capitalist elite.[27]

However  it is important to emphasise that eliminating the Enlightenment, or other Western schools of thought, isn’t the solution. In some cases the enlightenment has been very valuable. For example, it has made people in the south aware of the contradictions of European values, as in the case of the Haitian revolution.[28] So of course, the European cosmopolitanism and the Enlightenment can be beneficial for our society. However, the full story must be told. The Enlightenment was a double edged sword: on the one hand, a catalyst for resistance and a promise for universal humanism, on the other hand a scientific justification for racism and colonialism.[29]

In conclusion, postcolonial cosmopolitanism tries to emphasise that modernity is a result of intermingled histories. Frantz Fanon, who was born in Martinique, studied in France and worked as a psychiatrist in Algeria, embodies this school of thought.[30] He, among others, used this shared cosmopolitan knowledge to create a true cosmopolitan ideal: postcolonial cosmopolitanism. This indicates that not only Europeans can claim Europe. Due to these shared histories, and of course the exploitation of non-European labour and resources by European countries, migrants are fully in their right to call themselves citizens of Europe, as well as citizens of their own respective communities.[31]

Towards a decentring framework

Hereunder, I will give an overview of my analytical framework, also shown in table 1. I start with an explanation on decentring by using the three dimensions from Fischer-Onar and Nicolaïdis.[32] Next, I explain the five categories of decentring that I selected from the framework of Keukeleire and Lecocq.[33] To complement my analysis, I added an ‘identity decentring’ category based on the work of Huber and Kamel[34], and modified and supplemented some of the variables in the final framework. 

When conducting (research on) European external policy, it is of tremendous importance that we are not influenced by a Eurocentric worldview. There is a loss of richness of perspectives when looking only through a European lens.[35] Additionally, when externalising European policy it is only logical to pay attention to other worldviews. Therefore, it is firstly important to provincialise the European Union External policy. This means that one should be aware that there are different paths to economic and political modernity. Furthermore, as Europeans we should start to acknowledge that we did not follow our own ‘Enlightened cosmopolitan’ recipe to come to the Europe as we know it today, as we aggressively exploited labour forces and resources from other parts of the world. We should further realise that other societies may have different views on what ‘development’ means. In other words, provincialising is a way of gaining awareness about our own Western context. After this realisation there should be an intense engagement with these other views. It is important to interact with non-European actors. Not only to critically engage with our own worldview, but also with the worldviews of these ‘others’. In this manner, we can learn from each other in our path towards a cosmopolitan ideal.[36]  This resonates with what Keukeleire calls an outside-in perspective, where you aim to examine your own policy through the eyes of those who experience the consequences.[37] Lastly,  the two former steps can be used to correct and redraw a ‘self-destructive’ European External policy. However, relevant academic contributions remain relatively vague about this last reconstruction’ step.[38] In this research I will try to fill this gap in the academic literature and try to make a postcolonial cosmopolitan reconstruction of the EUTF.

To concretise these three steps I made use of the framework of Keukeleire and Lecocq, and include five dimensions in my unique framework. These dimensions include each time the provincialising and engagement step. However, as mentioned, in this research I will try to go beyond these two steps and make some recommendations for reconstructing the EUTF. The first selected category is ‘spatial decentring’. This indicates that we learn about other infrastructural and geopolitical settings and acknowledge that not every region looks like a European setting.[39] Second, there is the ‘temporal and normative decentring’ category. This category puts emphasis on the fact that we know and learn about Europe mostly from a Eurocentric historical framework. This affects our worldview and or norms to this day. For example, the colonial period is often left out or reframed in our history books.[40] Third then, the ‘polity decentring’ category challenges the excessive focus of European policy makers on the structures of the Westphalian nation-state as we know it in Europe. This results in an overestimation of the importance of state structures in other regions.[41] My fourth category of decentring is a ‘linguistic/disciplinary’ one. European external policy is often based on Western research (traditions) with English as lingua franca. As said, this leads to an incomplete analysis. Moreover, in this paper I pay attention to the role of the implementers of the projects as they often strengthen or universalise the power imbalances that are already in place.[42] Lastly, I opted for a ‘identity decentring’ category. Most analyses are written from a top-down perspective, which is relevant, but it is equally important to recognise the role of the periphery in these processes.[43] In this analysis, I will pay attention to the specific characteristics of geographic, religious, gender and ethnic ‘subaltern’ groups, defined by Gramsci as a group of people that is often subordinated to a ruling group’s policies.[44]

As mentioned in the introduction, it was a difficult task to transform the theoretical texts mentioned above into a practical framework. I am aware that the decentring agenda and postcolonial cosmopolitanism are not identical. However, they have a lot in common. They both put emphasis on the historical processes of colonialism and the colonial amnesia of the European Union. In this way, solely positive views on European cosmopolitanism, Enlightenment and (neo)liberalism can be challenged. Similarly, I like to believe that the dimensions and ‘variables’ I included are an advantage to the framework. However, there should be awareness about the downsides of a framework like this. Postcolonial cosmopolitan authors would look with suspicion at a new ‘tick the box’-framework of a Western student, from a Western discipline, who, instead of people in so-called developing countries, must determine whether a policy is Eurocentric or not. Frantz Fanon, for example, would be worried that the struggles and stories of colonised people would go lost in a positivist framework.[45] As a conclusion, a big downside of this approach is the lack of representation from ‘the subaltern’ themselves.


Table 1: A decentring framework





  • European geographical features
  • European material situation
  • Geopolitical space making 
  • Geographical features of other spaces 
  • Other spatial and material contexts 
  • The role of the desert

Temporal/ Normative

  • Specific historical trajectory and modernisation paradigm
  • Migration as negative
  • Neoliberal norms  
  • Other trajectories towards economical and political modernization 
  • Other norms 


  • State-centric bias 
  • Different polity types based on: 
  • States 
  • Ethnicity 
  • Religion 
  • Warlordism 

Linguistic/ disciplinary

  • English as main language 
  • Rough translations 
  • Dominance of Western sources 
  • Reliance on Western/ international implementers 
  • Non-western languages 
  • Different ways of communicating 
  • Different concepts meanings/ interpretations 


  • European focus on norms rather than identity dimensions 
  • What features do different groups have? Religion, culture… 
  • Engaging with geographical, religious, gender and ethnic peripheries 
  • Perspectives of the subaltern


Decentring the EUTF

As aforementioned, I conducted a discourse analysis of four Action documents that each represent a different project. It is important to understand that the results of this research cannot be generalized towards all EUTF-projects. Nor does this paper contain an exhaustive overview of the four projects that were selected. The relevance of this research lies in the discourse analysis of four EUTF-projects and their (potential) downfalls from a postcolonial cosmopolitan perspective.

The four projects that were chosen are:

  • Libya (North-Africa): Recovery, Stability, and socio-economic development in Libya.[46]
  • Niger (Sahel): Création d’une Equipe Conjointe d’Investigation (ECI) pour la lutte contre les réseaux criminels liés à l’immigration irrégulière, la traite des êtres humains et le trafic des migrants.[47]
  • Mali (Sahel): programme de renforcement de la résilience des communautés, des ménages et des individus vulnérables à l’insécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle au Mali.[48]
  • Ethiopia (Horn of Africa): Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern & Central Ethiopia (SINCE).[49]

I will start with some general remarks. It is important to know that the different categories each time cover the provincialising and engagement dimension. This is done to keep the analysis as fluent as possible. Moreover, as mentioned, reconstruction is generally neglected in other research. Furthermore, some scholars state that discourse analysis often only focuses on deconstruction but does not come up with alternatives.[50] To answer these relevant critiques, I dedicated a separate subtitle to reconstruction.


Firstly, the Action documents remain overall relatively vague. This could be strategic to involve a whole range of actions without clear responsibility on behalf of the EUTF.[51] Furthermore, African actors are often framed as ‘partners’. Think of the Joint Valletta Action Plan or the new commissioner for equal partnerships, whereas in reality they are mostly only receivers of the projects.[52] Moreover, the security frame that is used in certain projects can be subject to criticism. Scientific research shows that framing migration as a security issue can be a tool to justify exceptional measures.[53] Lastly, the strategic goal ‘strengthening resilience’ raises questions, as the emphasis on the resilience of the populations targeted can be a means to ignore underlying power imbalances.[54]

When focusing on spatial decentring some critiques can be raised. Firstly, the three windows that the EUTF distinguishes can be problematised. For example, within the EUTF the 'Sahel region' is a larger region than within the Sahel Strategy. According to Zardo, this is part of the EU's geostrategic space making project from a migration management perspective, where the EU tries to define the universal borders of strategically important migration regions.[55] Furthermore, across the Action documents, little attention is paid to the infrastructural and geographical features of the countries concerned. It is often the case that infrastructural characteristics are described with a negative connotation. As an illustration, when the Libyan action document stressed the precarious health care infrastructure in the country, this is traced back to the civil war and the role of colonel Khaddaffi. However, research shows that European development projects, often with a neoliberal undertone, have had a negative impact on the infrastructure of several African countries.[56] Moreover, the SINCE-project in Ethiopia pays little attention to the mountainous geology of the country. Similarly, the desert and the oases, which often have a very symbolic function for the indigenous population, are often framed as ‘empty spaces’ in the Action documents.[57]

Concerning the second category: ‘temporal/normative decentring’, some important critiques (that also resonate with the previous category) should be mentioned. Instead of linking the precarious infrastructure in several African countries with a civil war as done by the action document in Libya, one could trace this back to the colonial period. Amongst postcolonial intellectuals, it is heavily supported that after the decolonization, and the failure of the postcolonial development state, authoritarian regimes have arisen. First, there was the fear of a new domination of western imperialists. Furthermore, unity was an important source of peace for these newly independent peoples. This resulted in the fact that many authoritarian figures, including Khaddaffi, took over the colonial power structures in a new autocratic regime. This phenomenon is known as the paradox of the decolonization struggle, where resistance movements eventually become the new autocrats.[58]

The Action Papers also describe several Eurocentric norms. For example, migration within a western context is often framed as a negative phenomenon. However, research in West-Africa shows that migration is viewed mainly positively within the population. Mobility is seen as a lifestyle for these West-African populations to deal with changing seasons[59] and with migration management strategies.[60] Likewise, they used space making strategies to deal with colonial structures in the past.[61] Additionally, Niger, Mali and Ethiopia are known for their Tuareg populations. Notwithstanding that these groups are very diverse, they have their attitude of resistance against foreign imperialists in common.[62] It should be enriching for the EUTF to bear the views of these people in mind. Lastly, a lack of the non-European temporal perspective in the Action documents is the strengthening of neoliberal privatisation. Langan and Price describe that the EU is pushing a neoliberal and neo-colonial agenda in North Africa with their Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, which holds quite some similarities with the EUTF.[63] As described earlier, this is not always in the interest of the local populations. According to Zardo, this externalisation of European norms mainly serves European geopolitical interests.[64]

Relevant to the polity decentring category, I noticed the following tendencies; firstly, the state-centric bias is noticeable in the Action documents. Bakewell argues that it would be better to focus on people. In that sense, isn't encouraging mobility more appropriate to offer people a better life, whatever that may mean for them, rather than restricting mobility? Bakewell uses the example of Nigeria, he argues that if all Nigerians can lead a happier life by migrating, Nigeria as a country is not ‘developed’, but the Nigerians are.[65] Furthermore, a focus on the state ensures a generalisation of all groups within that state, while certain groups are not compatible with national borders because of the Koloniale Conference of Berlin in 1885. Moreover, a focus on migration management within states undermines the economy of regional organisations, ECOWAS as an example.  Lastly, national and regional interests can differ. For example, Agadez, a region that depends on migration as a business (restaurants, motels…) does not benefit from strengthened borders.[66]

Moving on to the fourth category: linguistic decentring. As mentioned above, the lingua franca is often English or French. Notwithstanding that a part of the population in the selected countries speaks these languages, it would be more postcolonial cosmopolitan if the EUTF bears in mind that there are big groups that do not understand these languages.[67]

In addition, there is the role of international organisations. Although the involvement of these organisations may seem cosmopolitan at first sight, there can be some critiques. Firstly, these organisations often do not equally represent a global community.[68] Secondly, the implementation of European projects by international organisations contributes to the internationalisation of European space making strategies.[69] Lastly, neoliberal tendencies make NGOs less independent. [70] This may lead to a double amnesia: on the one hand the colonial amnesia of the European Union, on the other the amnesia of radical critique from independent NGOs.[71]

Relevant to the identity decentring category are the following remarks. Firstly, it is striking that the word ‘vulnerable’ is often used when referring to migrants. According to bell hooks, groups in the margin may be disadvantaged by uneven structures, however, the position they are in also makes them powerful.[72] According to Bakewell, the frequent framing of migrants as victims undermines their agency. Rather, the structures that make people unwillingly or illegally mobile, are the problem.[73] Moreover, African civil society groups are often neglected in European projects. Nevertheless, including civil society also has downsides, seeing as a hegemonic Europe can co-opt a politicised civil society in their projects.[74] Additionally, while it is positive that the Action Documents acknowledge the role of specific groups with different characteristics, like women, there is the risk of an ‘add women and stir’-method, without questioning underlying structures. Scholars state that a Feminist Foreign Policy is not feminist if it doesn’t acknowledge the colonial past.[75] Next then, the European Union could use the externalisation of its norms as a tool to silence the periphery or as a tool to obtain geopolitical interests, which Del Sarto describes as ‘normative empire Europe’.[76]


With the critiques on the EUTF that are mentioned in the previous part in mind, I will hereunder make an attempt to reconstruct the EUTF from a postcolonial cosmopolitan perspective. I drew great inspiration from the common ground between postcolonial and post-development contributions.[77] Two big parts can be distinguished in this reconstruction exercise. The first part thinks critically about an EUTF within the current structures, via feasible reformist proposals.[78] However, as Frantz Fanon said, decolonisation can only come about through a tabula rasa of the current structures that define our system. In the second part, I bear this remark of Frantz Fanon into mind and make some revolutionary proposals.[79] However, it should be mentioned that despite this revolutionary or radical part being more tentative, it is important to look critically at current structures.[80]

According to Paris and Sisk there are three ways to deal with the paradoxes of a Eurocentric European external policy in a reformist manner. Namely: retreat, reorganise and reinvest.[81] In this paper I will only look at the last option. The first option, that implies a total abandonment of development aid, is heavily criticised due to the survival of the fittest notion it implies. Furthermore, I have shown that the second option of “doing more of the same”, due to the colonial roots of the European project, is neither a solution.[82] That makes me believe that the reinvest option is the only reasonable one from a postcolonial cosmopolitan perspective. Below, I offer reformist options on how to change the current structures without starting from scratch:

  • Recognize the colonial roots of the European Union and its development policies.[83]
  • The decentralisation of decisions and power. In other words, ensuring that ‘subaltern’ have the power to make decisions.[84]
  • Working with partners, with unequal power structures in mind. This should be radically different from the current ‘partnership discourse’. The EU should engage in democratic dialogue with countries and societies in the South about how they view (alternatives to) development.[85]
  • Promote self-proposed projects.[86]
  • Promoting radical and complete transparency about the goals, means and results of projects.[87]
  • Get rid of the status of ‘experts’, since this causes a power imbalance between the ‘expert’ and the ‘non-expert’.[88]
  • Radically changing structures within organisations such as the WTO, IMF, and World Bank.[89]
  • Promotion of cross-fertilization between global knowledge.[90]
  • Implementing a culture of critique, which constantly reflects on unequal power structures.[91]
  • The same comments should apply to all other policy areas.[92]

Furthermore, Bhambra suggests that speaking in terms of reparations instead of development would be beneficial. She argues that the term ‘reparations’ is more in line with the historical colonial and imperial responsibility of the European Union. Moreover, the term development indicates a linear process, with the West as the example of a developed region.[93]

When looking in a more revolutionary manner to the current structures, I came to the understanding that a postcolonial cosmopolitan world with strengthened borders is not possible. I am convinced that refusing people to cross borders, or even externalise these borders, holds no legitimacy from a postcolonial cosmopolitan perspective. As Carens mentions, strengthened borders are based on two incorrect principles: birth right and property rights. Birth right can be simply refuted if taking the universal equality of people into mind. It is illogical that people are treated differently based on their place of birth. Property rights are based on the belief that Europeans have the only right to claim Europe because they build it.[94] However, postcolonial cosmopolitan authors have shown that due to intermingled histories, not in the least a colonial one, this is not the case. Additionally, without borders there cannot be states. I must conclude that also the Westphalian state system should be reconsidered when moving towards a postcolonial cosmopolitan world,[95] considering that states are communitarian in their core, which often leads to aggressive behaviour towards outsiders.


The research question of this paper was: “Does the European Union’s Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) pass a postcolonial cosmopolitan test?”. The conclusion is clear. The hypothesis that the EUTF would fail the postcolonial cosmopolitan test must be confirmed. The EUTF failed to meet the ideal postcolonial cosmopolitan that authors suggest in any category of the decentring agenda. However, the provincialising and engagement sections were not sufficient to speak of a postcolonial cosmopolitan analysis. They were mainly used to obtain an outside-in perspective. The reconstruction section tries to go beyond that by looking at unequal structures. I was inspired by the common ground between  post-development and postcolonial literature for reformist proposals about reconstructing the European development policy. However, a more revolutionary way of thinking was necessary. A postcolonial cosmopolitan world can only come about if borders are questioned. In addition, the Westphalian state system seems to be the biggest obstacle towards a world with open borders.

Nonetheless, this research has some disadvantages. Firstly, to understand phenomena such as migration and development, it is best to use an interdisciplinary approach.[96] Since this paper is an individual work, I have failed to do so. Secondly, one could question the top-down character of my own paper being a western student in political science. Furthermore, postcolonialism is eurocentric itself. Why do we look at the history of European colonialism and not at other (African) processes during history?[97] Lastly, the biggest disadvantage of this discourse analysis is the lack of the narratives from the people who bear the consequences of the EUTF policy, namely, the subaltern.[98]

My biggest recommendation, with the downsides of my research in mind, is that future research should be focused on the lived experiences and stories of these ‘subaltern’. The final goal should not be convincing people of the good life but letting them decide what a good life is for them. Moreover, we should keep bearing the unequal political, economical, social and cultural processes that decide whose voice is heard and whose not, in mind. Or as Trouillot said: “Who has the power to name what?”.[99]


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[2]    David Kipp, “From exception to rule: the EU Trust Fund for Africa.”,  no.13 (2018).

[3]    Erik Oddvar Eriksen, “The EU–a cosmopolitan polity?” Journal of European Public Policy 13, no. 2(2006): 252-269.

[4]    Gurminder Bhambra, “Whither Europe?”,  Interventions 18, no. 2(2015):  187-202. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801x.2015.1106964

[5]    Nora Fischer Onar and Kalypso Nicolaïdis, “The Decentring Agenda: Europe as a post-colonial power.” Cooperation and Conflict 48, no. 2 (2013): 283-303.

[6]    Sandra Ponzanesi, “Cosmopolitan Europe: Postcolonial interventions and global transitions.”, Routledge International Handbook of Cosmopolitanism Studies, (2018): 564-574.

[7]    Gurminder Bhambra and John Narayan, “Introduction: Colonial histories and the postcolonial present of European cosmopolitanism.”, European Cosmopolitanism, Routledge, (2016).

[8]    Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, “Introduction: Recentering the South in studies of migration.” , Migration and Society 3, no. 1(2020): 1-18. 

[9]    Gurminder Bhambra, “Whither Europe?”

[10] “Valletta Action Plan. La Valletta Summit, Malta.” European commission, last modified, November, 2015, accessed September 26, 2022, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/21839/action_plan_en.pdf

[11] Thomas Diez, “Europe’s Others and the Return of Geopolitics.” Cambridge review of international affairs 17, no. 2 (2004): 319-335.

[12] OXFAM., “An Emergency for Whom?”, (2017).

[13] Nora Fischer Onar and Kalypso Nicolaïdis, “The Decentring Agenda: Europe as a post-colonial power.”

[14] Daniela Huber and Lorenzo Kamel, “Arab spring and peripheries: A decentring research agenda.”, Routledge, (2018).

[15] Stefan Keukeleire and Sharon Lecocq, “Operationalising the decentring agenda: Analysing European foreign policy in a non-European and post-western world.”,  Cooperation and conflict 53, no.2 (2018): 277-295.

[16] Mark Akkerman, “Expanding the fortress: The policies, the profiteers and the people shaped by EU’s border externalisation programme.”, The Transnational Institute 11, no. 34 (2018).      

[17] “EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.” European Commission, last modified, 2015, accessed, may, 13, 2022, https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/index_en 

[18] “Strategy. EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa” European Commission, last modified, October 2, 2017, accessed May 12, 2022, https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/content/strategy_en 

[19] “Trust Fund Financials, EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.” European Commission, last modified, June 20, 2017, accessed May 12, 2022, https://ec.europa.eu/trustfundforafrica/content/trust-fund-financials_en

[20] Peo Hansen and Stefan Jonsson, “Bringing Africa as a dowry to Europe’: European Integration and the Eurafrican Project, 1920–1960.", Interventions 13, no. 3 (2011): 443-463.

[21] Catarina Kinnvall, “Postcolonialism.”, The Routledge Handbook of Critical European Studies, (2021): 72-84.

[22] Gurminder Bhambra, “Whither Europe?”

[23] Etienne Balibar, “World borders, political borders.”, PMLA 117, no. 1 (2002) : 68-78.

[24] Fiona Adamson, TriadafilosTriadafilopoulos and Aristide Zolberg, “The limits of the liberal state: Migration, identity and belonging in Europe.”,  Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37, no. 6 (2011): 843-859.

[25] Jeff Popke, “Geography and ethics: spaces of cosmopolitan responsibility.”, Progress in Human Geography 31, no. 4 (2007): 509-518.

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