With the commencement of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, the EU member states have committed themselves to the creation of?a common immigration policy". Despite the increasing "communitarisation" of EU migration policy over the past decade, there has been a tendency to retain intergovernmental control over the EU policy-making process. The assertive responses of member states to purported migratory flows associated with the EU's immediate neighbourhood, particularly the old member states subject to high levels of intra-EU secondary migration, are particularly resonant for the external dimension. Mapping out the legal and institutional framework of EU migration policy after the Lisbon Treaty, the article assesses the renewed inter-institutional balance in the EU related to policy towards the immediate neighbourhood and candidate countries. Key Words EU migration policy, external dimension, EU neighbourhood, Lisbon Treaty, EU policy-making.