After identifying and analyzing this fundamentally flawed framework, the paper makes the case for a reevaluation of European strategy in the Sahel, based on a few key components meant to solve the issues raised. In particular, three primary concerns are brought out. First, there is a need to critically produce information in order to comprehend local challenges; local universities and think tanks should be at the forefront of this analysis. Secondly, there is a need to reconsider and rework tactics and plans in a less defensive manner, considering the intricate structural elements that underlie the main worries of Europe, such as migration, violence, and the growing consequences of the climate crisis. Lastly, the suggestion to further a theory known as “transformative pragmatism.” This refers to an actionable approach that recognizes the boundaries of intervention while promoting a less invasive, more transactional position meant to maximize a new added value in the face of shifting dynamics and increased competition, as opposed to the so-called “principled pragmatism” that directs European strategy in the Sahel. The paper uses a qualitative technique to achieve these goals, based on 17 semi-structured interviews with different social and political groups connected to the European policy in the Sahel.