In a report released this week ahead of the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) analysed the costs of deterrence measures and border controls adopted by EU countries over the past few years. The measures adopted however, are not expected to yield the desired results of reducing the number of people arriving irregularly to Europe, ODI finds.

Even with a lack of clarity and transparency regarding spending related to border controls, the Institute estimates that EU countries spent at least 1.7 € billion for building fences, enhancing identity checks, surveillance, dog checks and deportations. Counting bilateral and multilateral agreements with non-EU countries to reduce migration, the EU has spent over 17 € billion in three years in an attempt to deter refugees and migrants to travel to Europe.

ODI argues for a shift in the migration paradigm: Europe needs to stop focusing on deterring migration and start managing it. The reports provides four recommendations to European governments: increase safe and legal pathways, create a new alliance for data on migration and displacement, enhance transparency on deterrence costs and forge new international coalitions to ensure a better management of migration.

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