The “Global Approach to Migration” represents the European Union's most advanced attempt to integrate non-member states' interests into its policy agenda. Despite ambitions to achieve policy coherence, assessments of EU policy show that security measures, such as border control and readmission, dominate over “migration and development” and labour migration measures. The article addresses the questions why different components of migration policy differ in their implementation and how this impacts the effectiveness and coherence of the “Global Approach”. The main findings of EU interventions in Morocco and Ukraine show that implementation partners, logic of action and available resources shape policy components' implementation, with profound impact on coherence. Since preventive measures are more greatly affected by amibiguities than control measures, a more balanced EU policy requires EU practitioners to consider how feasible interventions are under each policy component and scale down migration control projects rather than undermine preventive measures and long-term coherence.