Europe is on the verge of a political crisis over the issue of how to respond to the recent migratory influxes, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean. Governments lament the human losses that occur while boat people try to reach Europe. Yet leaders seem to disagree on the measures needed to contain the crisis. Civil society organisations in Europe highlight the humanitarian emergency and are usually baffled by the voices of those who stress the security aspects of such influxes. The population and governments in Western Europe seem to be reluctant in sharing, even partially, the burden resulting from the influx currently borne by Southern Member States whose borders are also the EU borders in its periphery. Lately several governments have outright rejected a timid new European Agenda on Migration adopted by the European Commission. The latter toys with the idea of relocating some 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy, Malta and Greece to the rest of the EU on the basis of a quota related to the population and the economic situation of individual Member States. In the meantime, the flux of boat people, now mainly coming from Syria, Eritrea and other African countries, continues – same as the death toll of those drowning in the Aegean or in the seas below Lampedusa. Southern European governments have openly stated their inability to cope with the increasing flows without substantially sharing this common challenge with the rest of its European partners. While the number of asylum seekers to be relocated is a very small percentage compared to the influx of refugees and migrants, the agenda avoids addressing the pressing but politically thorny issue of the hundreds of thousands of irregular immigrants residing already on European soil who will not be able to return in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, even if it was not much welcomed, the new agenda appears to have opened a debate which has long been a taboo in EU politics. It has also forged new perspectives and has created space for alliances and political moves, more precisely; it has stimulated a debate on the linkages between migration and development. Recent declarations by international agencies state that migration should be incorporated more explicitly in the Post‐2015 Development Agenda. Moving beyond simple notions that development will stop migration or that migration is a recipe for development, alternative perspectives in policy making are needed that empower migrants’ agency and rights. Even more so, it is important to focus on the intersection of migration and development policies and trends, and on the actual and potential contributions of migrant communities to sustainable development and the reduction of poverty in their home countries.