Supporting BMZ on migration issues

Project description

Title: Sector project on migration
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Germany
Overall term: 2019 to 2022


Migration is a global phenomenon that concerns all the partner countries of German development cooperation in different ways. The majority of these countries are simultaneously countries of origin, transit and destination for migrants. In addition to long term cross-border migration (both voluntary and involuntary), temporary forms of migration and internal migration are playing an increasingly important role in the international debate.

According to United Nations statistics for 2019, 272 million people live outside of their country of origin. Migration poses great challenges to the countries of origin, for example through the loss of highly qualified workers (brain drain) or rural exodus. At the same time, it also offers opportunities for development through the transfer of capital, knowledge and skills. From a development policy viewpoint, a triple-win approach for countries of origin, host countries and migrants is desirable.

National and international debate on migration is characterised by different political interests. With domestic and foreign policy discussions primarily focusing on security-related issues, such as border control, repatriation and asylum, a lower priority is often assigned in public and political debate to development policy interests such as creating a triple win. With a view to achieving a balance in this debate, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has positioned itself at national and international level with a development-oriented approach to migration. Although the German government presented a strategy for migration and development at the end of 2016, no cross-ministerial strategy or BMZ sector strategy has yet been established in this respect.


BMZ has visibly positioned itself as a relevant stakeholder in the area of migration at national and international level with development-oriented contributions.


The project works without a regional focus in three fields of activity: (1) preparing development-oriented contributions on international migration policy processes, (2) preparing development-oriented contributions on migration policy processes in Germany and Europe and (3) addressing lessons learned from migration projects for the purpose of portfolio design and policy-making.

The issues concerned are development-oriented labour migration, return and reintegration, EU migration policy and support for the German Council Presidency, cash transfers from migrants (remittances), migration policy advice, mixed migration and displacement.

The project helps BMZ to position itself with development-oriented approaches in German, European and international migration policy processes and decisions. As a result, migration policy decisions can take better account of the development interests of the international community (countries of origin, transit and destination), while more effectively anticipating and reflecting the effects on development.

The project promotes policy coherence and supports BMZ in its public relations work and communication in the area of migration and development. The project acts as a think tank for BMZ, as it engages with relevant discussions and plans. It acts as a linchpin between the operational level of migration projects and the policy-making of BMZ. The project communicates lessons learned and strategies, classifies them in the development and migration policy context and feeds them into the development-oriented positioning of BMZ.