Migration and Home Affairs

International organisations

International migration represents one of the most obvious contemporary manifestations of globalisation. In a globalised world, no single entity can tackle global challenges like security or migration on its own.

Governing migratory flows and fighting organised crime and terrorism require intense international cooperation, including with specialised international organisations. The EU works particularly closely with the United Nations (UN), including the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and many other international organisations and global processes (such as the G7/G8, the UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development and the Global Forum on Migration and Development).


On refugee and asylum issues, the EU works closely with UNHCR, consulting it on asylum policy, with the principal goal of cooperation being enhancement of asylum capacity-building and refugee protection in non-EU countries.


IOM is a key partner for the EU when it comes to implementation of migration-related policies.

To enhance cooperation on migration, development, humanitarian response and human rights issues, three European Commission services (DG HOME, DG DEVCO, DG ECHO) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) established a framework for strategic partnership with IOM in July 2012. The framework builds on a shared interest in bringing the benefits of well managed international migration to migrants and society. It also serves as a basis for exchange, development and structuring of the relationship between the EU and IOM.

Other United Nations agencies

For drugs and crime, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the EU's principal partner. Cooperation with UNODC is aimed at combating drug trafficking, organised crime, corruption and money laundering. The EU participates in the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UN CCPCJ) and in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (UN CND). The EU is a full party, as a regional economic integration organisation (REIO), to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) .

In the field of counter-terrorism, within the framework established by the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the EU supports the efforts of non-EU countries applying UN instruments on counter-terrorism.

For law enforcement cooperation, Interpol is an important partner for the Union.


ICMPD is a close partner of the EU in the promotion and implementation the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, the EU's external migration policy. ICMPD has provided valuable support to the European Commission’s efforts to strengthen attention for migration issues under the EU’s external cooperation policy.

UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development & the Global Forum on Migration and Development

The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility allows the EU to speak with one voice on migration and mobility matters at global level, in particular at meetings such as the second UN High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development – organised by the UN General Assembly on 3-4 October 2013 – and the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

The European Commission is actively engaged in discussions on global migration management and promotes a partnership-based methodology. It has also supported, endorsed and contributed to the international discourse on the migration-development nexus, which aims at maximising the positive impacts of migration and mobility on development and poverty reduction. The Commission Communication on “Maximising the Development Impact of Migration” adopted in May 2013 provided the basis for a common position of the EU and its Member States at the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.