European countries have seen over 3.8 million people seeking asylum in its territories between 2013 and 2016. In response, Europe has developed several plans, agreements and policy Frameworks on Migration. The EU has also established a number of cooperation agreements with third countries, highlighting the importance of “addressing the root causes behind irregular migration to non-EU countries”. On top, we notice EU Aid budgets being increasingly spent in favour of “migration management”.

Development cooperation is more and more perceived by EU leaders as a tool to “control migration”, “manage migration” or “tackle the root causes of migration”. Why is that?

What are the links between the EU’s Aid and Migration agendas? What patterns can we observe? 


Aiming at clarifying how EU’s development cooperation and migration agendas are interlinked in today’s EU policies, our new report provides a commentary on the impact of these links. The report draws a couple of key recommendations, and more specifically, identifies 3 trends outlining how EU aid is in fact used to curb migration, done on-purpose by EU policy-makers to serve domestic priorities:

1. Inflation

2. Diversion

3. Conditionality

The report is accompanied by animated infographics which we invite you to use and share widely (see below).



In the current context of the “migration crisis”, development aid is progressively used for other purposes than poverty eradication and sustainable development. The principle of solidarity, which aid is based on, is questioned at EU and national levels! Aid is “instrumentalised” in favour of EU &/or national interests, like security, conflict and migration management.

In its new report, CONCORD identified 3 trends which are currently “inflating” aid in the current migration context.