Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the areas of migration and asylum

The purpose of the thematic programme is to support projects in Non-EU Member Countries that aim to improve the management of migratory flows. The programme continues the AENEAS activities within the framework of the Financial Perspectives 2007-2013.


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - Thematic programme for the cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the areas of migration and asylum [COM(2006) 26 final - Not published in the Official Journal].


The general aim of the thematic programme is to provide support for Non-EU Member Countries so that they can better manage migratory flows.

Programme guidelines

The programme is designed to cover the main areas corresponding to the key dimensions of the migratory phenomenon, in particular:

All the Non-EU Member Countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy Instrument and the Development Cooperation and Economic Cooperation Instrument are eligible for the thematic programme. However, the Commission is proposing that the regions of emigration and transit towards the European Union (EU) should be considered as a priority.

The Commission adds that respect for democratic principles and the rule of law and for human and minority rights constitutes an essential element to be taken into account.

The programme is designed to back up the measures taken under the geographical instruments. Accordingly, it:

Strategic guidelines

The future thematic programme has five strands.

Fostering the links between migration and development

The thematic programme involves the implementation of measures:

Promoting well-managed economic migration

The Commission would like to see the thematic programme helping in Non-EU Member Countries:

Fighting illegal migration and facilitating the readmission of illegal immigrants

It is planned:

Protecting migrants against exploitation and exclusion

Steps will be taken in Non-EU Member Countries in the following areas:

Promoting asylum and international protection of refugees

The thematic programme should help to provide durable solutions to refugee problems by:

Programming and implementation principles

The thematic programme will be subject to multiannual programming by the Commission in the form of a thematic strategy paper and a multiannual indicative programme. Two papers and two indicative programmes will be drawn up, in each case one for the period 2007-2010 and one for the period 2011-2013.

On the basis of the paper and the indicative programme, the Commission will produce each year an annual work programme setting the priority actions of the Union and specifying:

The Commission intends to involve Non-EU Member Countries in the actions financed from the thematic programme. To this end, Non-EU Member Countries will be informed of the calls for proposals and actions implemented.

An external evaluation for the period 2007-2009 will provide input for the strategy paper for the period 2011-2013.


The programme stems from the preparatory measures taken between 2001 and 2003. These measures, financed from the budget heading B7-667, were designed to assist Non-EU Member Countries in their efforts at better managing migratory flows.

The AENEAS programme was intended to be the successor to the preparatory measures. This instrument, adopted in 2004, has a budget of 250 million for the period 2004-2008. With a view to concluding the current EU financial framework at the end of 2006, the duration of the AENEAS programme has been shortened to three years.

The thematic programme continues with the activities of the AENEAS programme within the framework of the Financial Perspectives 2007-2013. It follows on from the Hague programme, which stipulates that EU policy must promote cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the migration field "in full partnership, using existing Community funds were appropriate".

Last updated: 01.04.2006