The European Union is a longstanding IOM partner both within the EU and in its external action.

Operationally, the cooperation between IOM and the EU was first formalised in a Framework Partnership Agreement for Humanitarian Aid Actions in 1994 and an EU-IOM Framework Agreement in 2011.

In July 2012, IOM and EU counterparts established a Strategic Cooperation Framework to foster dialogue and cooperation at the highest level on key policy issues, best practices as well as legislative and operational initiatives covering all aspects of migration, mobility and displacement.

Currently, this Framework includes the Directorates General for Migration and Home Affairs (HOME), International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO), Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) and the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Since 2015, the cooperation between IOM and the EU has increased substantially, linked to the rise of migration and displacement on the EU and international agendas.

This enhanced collaboration is reflected, amongst others, in a growing programme portfolio along Central and Eastern Mediterranean Migration Routes, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Africa, the AU-EU-UN Taskforce on the Migrant Situation in Libya and deepening engagement with a broad range of EU institutions, departments and agencies.

Together, the EU and its Member States are the largest contributors to IOM’s budget. Between 2015 and 2021, the European Commission and IOM worked together worldwide on nearly 700 projects with an approximate value of EUR 2.9 billion.