Does it still make sense for researchers to produce policy briefs in the area of migration? The MigSol project was concerned with investigating the way in which migration solidarity practices along the Balkan route could help us rethink the meaning of community and politics in contemporary Europe. Its final deliverable was supposed to be a set of policy recommendations indicating how to promote this process by making space for spontaneous solidarity practices with and by displaced people. However, considering developments on the ground since the beginning of MigSol, producing such recommendations seems futile. Rather, this final delivery looks back at the way policy developments and official practices at the national and European levels have affected the project’s field sites and participants. By refusing to produce the expected brief, the project sets out to start a conversation about the gap that is maintained between policymaking and research findings in the area of migration. The paper finds that all MigSol field sites have been under intense pressure due to processes of direct and indirect criminalisation of both migrants and their supporters. In Greece, since the arrival to power in July 2019 of a new conservative government, migrants and the solidarity movement have been the target of brutality and harassment. The solidarity spaces supporting and hosting migrants have been evicted, while ‘floating walls’ are being designed in order to stop arrivals from the Turkish coasts. In Serbia, the opening through European funding of reception centres for asylum seekers and migrants has been used to justify the policing and persecution of independent volunteers and activists trying to operate in solidarity with people outside those EU-funded and state-run camps. Finally, in Hungary, new laws have been adopted that fully criminalise assistance to people seeking asylum while the borders of the country have been effectively closed to any displaced person. This paper points out that there exists a huge gap between the knowledge produced on migration and policymaking processes, both at the national and European levels. Even when research is funded by actors involved in policymaking such as the European Commission (EC), findings and recommendations are not taken into consideration. For instance, there have been countless policy recommendations formulated by a range of researchers – as well as NGOs and field actors – on how EU border and migration policies should be reformed to prevent systematic rights violations at the borders. Most social sciences literature has long indicated that the policy of migration deterrence and containment promoted and implemented by the EC and member states is both ineffective and deadly. Yet, whatever evidence, data or findings research brings, no change in the political orientation of the EU and its member states has happened when it comes to migration and border policies. Faced with this observation, MigSol concludes by calling for a recalibrating of the relation between research and policymaking, where research findings are taken seriously even when they do not fit with what policymakers’ preferred orientations. This seems to be a very minimum condition for a truly knowledge-based policy process to take place in the domain of migration.