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Funding of migration-related activities in the Southern Neighbourhood region

The Global Approach on Migration and Mobility (GAMM) adopted in 2011 provides the general framework for the EU engagement in migration in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood.

It identifies four domains for action: legal migration and mobility; fight against irregular migration; asylum and international protection; migration and development.

The Global Approach on Migration and Mobility (GAMM) adopted in 2011 provides the general framework for the EU engagement in migration in the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood and identifies four domains for action: legal migration and mobility; fight against irregular migration; asylum and international protection; migration and development.

The EU's international engagement on migration in this region is therefore multi-faceted. It stems from the commitment to address root causes of displacement and forced migration by the use of foreign policy tools, including prevention and resolution of conflicts, enhancing the nexus between migration and development and by mainstreaming migration into development programmes, while also addressing human rights abuses and strengthening migrants' and refugee rights.

The EU's approach to addressing migratory challenges in its support to its Southern neighbours is in particular drawing on the following foreign policy instruments:

1/ political dialogue and technical and financial support to Southern Neighbourhood partner countries,

2/ regional frameworks encompassing Mediterranean and African countries,

3/ contribution to tackling security crises and conflicts having an impact on migratory flows, the latter of concern in particular for Libya and Syria.

By doing so, the EU's approach combines a wide range of financial instruments acting in a complementary way, drawing on the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), thematic funds such as the migration and asylum programme of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI), and a series of other instruments, ranging from humanitarian aid to Common Security and Defence Policy actions. Programmes developed jointly with Member States are also a growing feature of the EU support on migration (in particular the programmes put in place in the framework of the mobility partnerships in Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and the assistance to Syria).

The total amount of on-going EU support specifically on migration in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood region amounts to approximately €192 million.

Maghreb countries


The current support on migration to Morocco amounts to some €20 million and stems from the mobility partnership concluded in 2013 between the EU and Morocco. It ranges from institutional support to the new Moroccan State policy on migration (€10 million), promoting the access of regularised migrants to the EU for the purposes of education, health and employment, to supporting specialised civil society organisations which provide migrants with first help and adjustment services as well and which contribute to fighting racism and xenophobia. Support to the Moroccan diaspora is also provided (the "Sharaka" programme, €5 million), which facilitates the management of legal migration and enhances the contribution of the Moroccan diaspora to the country's development. Smaller complementary measures involve the provision of technical expertise in the drafting of State legislation on asylum and trafficking of human beings.


The current support on migration to Algeria amounts to €1,9 million and aims at supporting the creation of business and employment opportunities through the involvement of migrants in local development of their country of origin.


The support on migration to Tunisia has recently been refocused with new programmes amounting to €8 million.

A €3 million programme was launched in early 2015, aiming at supporting the Tunisian authorities in putting in place an integrated border management system, as well as contributing to international protection of and promotion of the rights of migrants. The EU-Tunisia mobility partnership will also benefit from a support programme of €5 million addressing labour migration, circular migration as well as the issue of migration and development. In the framework of the Security sector reform programme adopted in July 2015, an important component of the EU support will be devoted to border management.


The past years have witnessed a significant investment in migration projects in Libya (€42.7 million committed between 2011 and 2014). The on-going support on migration amounts to €22,1 million and includes the following programmes:

  • Promoting resilience among vulnerable and at-risk populations through a community-based approach - €2.9 million;

  • Promoting a rights-based management of migration in Libya (two components, one implemented by the International Federation of the Red Cross - €6,2 million; and the other by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development – €3 million);

  • Prevention and management of irregular migration flows from the Sahara Desert to the Mediterranean Sea - €10 million.

Similarly to Syria, the migration crisis in Libya is also addressed through regional programmes of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (see below).

Mashrek countries


The current support on migration to Egypt amounts to €3,4 million. It is mainly channelled to governmental and non-governmental actors to protect human rights of migrants along the East African route, to prevent and fight human trafficking and to provide legal advocacy for refugees.


The current support on migration to Jordan amounts to €11 million. The country benefits from a €2.5 million programme supporting the implementation of the mobility partnership with the EU, as well as from an €8 million programme supporting border guards in providing humanitarian assistance to refugees crossing the Syrian-Jordanian border.


The current support to migration in Lebanon amounts to approximately €16 million. It covers the setting-up of an integrated border management system in the framework of a broader programme dealing with the Lebanese capacity to enhance security and stabilisation.Complementaryprogrammes are provided through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, aiming at supporting and empowering migrants in Lebanon.


The support on migration towards Syria aims to address the current refugee crisis and encompasses support to neighbouring countries that host Syrian refugees. The EU effort is considerable, with nearly €4 billion of EU and Member States funds committed so far to address the crisis by means of humanitarian aid, support to stabilisation and development inside Syria and to Syrian refugees abroad and their host communities in the neighbouring countries. An additional €1 billion was pledged by the EU and Member States at the Kuwait III pledging conference in March of this year.                                 

Apart from the funding provided by ECHO, two EU flagship initiatives that bring together EU and Member States expertise and funding towards an integrated European response are also of significant:

  • the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP) to Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq aims at building a knowledge base on the socio-economic impact of refugees on host communities, enhances political dialogue with local and national authorities, provides protection of refugees as well as longer-term livelihood support, whenever possible to host communities and refugees alike. A number of Member States are co-funding the efforts (EU contribution - €12,3 million).
  • the recently established EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (“Madad”). It aims to provide a coherent and reinforced response to the Syrian crisis on a regional scale, responding to the needs of refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries, as well as to the needs of the communities hosting refugees and host country authorities, with a view to promoting resilience and early recovery. With Italy and Germany also contributing to the Trust Fund, strategic priorities and initial projects amounting to €40 million were adopted at its first Board meeting on 29 May 2015.

Regional/global programmes

The current EU support to regional and global programmes dealing with migration issues in the Southern Neighbourhood amounts to €57,9 million (notwithstanding programmes financed under the Rabat and Khartoum process). They include:

  • the Euromed Migration programmes (for an amount of respectively €5 and 7 million for the third and fourth phases) aiming at fostering cooperation on migration issues between the South partners and EU countries, as well as between the South partners themselves;

  • Regional Development and Protection Programmes (RDPP) are currently in placein North Africa (covering Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, and whenever possible Libya, with certain actions possible in Niger or Mauritania) and in the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq);

  • The work of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO)and Frontex in Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan is currently supported (€1 million);

  • In relation with the crisis in Libya, the following regional programmes are currently implemented:

    • Increasing the capacity of the authorities of the North African countries to tackle irregular migration and illicit trafficking by strengthening their border surveillance systems (SeaHorse-Mediterranean Network): €4.5 million;

    • Stabilizing at-risk communities and enhancing migration management to enable smooth transitions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya ("START"): €9.9 million.

Migratory issues are also addressed in a more global manner, taking into account the migratory routes. As an example, the setting up of an interactive map on migration in Africa, the Middle-East and the Mediterranean region is currently supported. More importantly, the support provided by the EU to the Rabat and Khartoum processes should be highlighted.

  • The Rabat Process

The Rabat Process was launched at the first Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in July 2006 in Rabat. It brings together governments of 55 European and African (North, West & Central) countries, together with the European Commission and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The objective is to enhance dialogue and cooperation on migration more broadly (legal migration and mobility; prevention of irregular migration and measures to counteract it; migration and development; international protection), as well as to identify common priorities in order to advance operational and practical cooperation.

  • The Khartoum Process

The Khartoum Process was launched at a Ministerial Conference in November 2014 in Rome. It is led by a Steering Committee comprised of five EU Member States (Italy, France, Germany, UK, Malta), five partner countries (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan) and the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the African Union Commission. Its objective is to establish a long-standing dialogue on migration and mobility aimed at enhancing the current cooperation, including through the identification and implementation of concrete projects. In the first phase, the focus will be on addressing trafficking in human beings and on smuggling of migrants.

Finally, the Commission has just decided to establish an European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa of €1.8 billion, in which a window of €200 million will provide support to Northern African countries.

Press contacts:

Maja KOCIJANCIC (+32 2 298 65 70)

Catherine RAY (+32 2 296 99 21)

Anca PADURARU (+ 32 2 296 64 30)

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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