The global arena for development cooperation is in a state of flux, as the conventional drivers of economic and social progress have seen rapid transformations in the last years. In the South, new powers have (re)emerged and now represent proper alternatives to conventional North-South cooperation as a range of middle-income countries (MIC) have witnessed swift growth. Remittances and private financial flows to developing countries have exploded, and aid today only constitutes a small brick in the large puzzle that is financial flows for development. Different forms of partnership and comprehensive agreements are slowly substituting traditional donor-beneficiary relationships to the point where aid may be left with a marginal role in stimulating development. The implications of these changes for EU development cooperation are immense as the recognized and employed instruments and modalities are challenged. The changing global environment necessarily requires it to rethink its approach to development cooperation and its relations with emerging actors. Still, Europe holds a comprehensive history and experience in several areas that may prove to be comparatively advantageous in development cooperation, and where potential may be unlocked.