The communitarization of European migration policy has been an opportunity to integrate a partnership component. Indeed, the Union's migration policy has gradually been developped and is continuously adapted to provide an adequate response to the new issues related to migration. Thus, based on Article 79 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in particular, European Union may conclude agreements with third parties, in the country of origin or of origin of third-country nationals. This partnership component has been set up in practice with different partners like the Africa.
However, EU-Africa partnership in migration is developing in a complex legal framework. This complexity is due, among other things, to the Union's apprehension of its African partner on the one hand, and to the diversity of instruments requested within the framework of this partnership on the other hand.
Indeed, the Union has a regionalized approach of the African partner, which justifies a study on the issues related to the actors of the partnership. On the one hand, the EU action as an international organization is framed by the powers conferred by the Treaties. On the other hand, the African partner can be heard in the sense of intergovernmental, sub-regional organizations of the African continent (African Union, West African Economic and Monetary Union, Economic West African States, etc.), or individual African States. A material clarification of what the African partner designates is therefore indispensable, especially since, according to Union law, the establishment of partnership relations in the field of migration may have different bases. As instance, it can be based on Article 8 of the Treaty on European Union, which provides the European Neighborhood Policy. Migration matters enters in this category by definition because it refers to a transboundary movement of population and thus involves a notion of externality. Moreover, it is noteworthy that the migration issue can be approached from other angles within the Union and the Member States including, common foreign and security policy (CFSP) and development policy. Thus, in this partnership framework, there are legal instruments of different kinds that do not have the same value and whose question of articulation deserves to be clarified.
Therefore, the EU-Africa partnership is developing in a multidimensional framework composed of external action instruments requiring different actions depending on the bases chosen; hence the importance of a depth study of the main policies on which the exercise of the Union's competences can be based and the consequences that may result therefrom.