Anna Krasteva ‘From refugee crises to labour migration and back? Lessons for migration policies in the Western Balkans’. Video

Key note of Anna Krasteva at the ICMP’ 9th Prague Process webinar, 17 December 2020.

https://www.pragueprocess.eu/en/migration-observatory/publications/document?id=278

The paper aims at analysing the contrasting migration profile of a region torn between the urgency of refugee management and legacy of forced migrations, from one side, and the economic, social and policy need to prioritize labor migrations as a tool for national and regional development, from another side. It is structured in three parts.

Multiplication and differentiation of refugee & migration crises

The last three decades have been marked by diverse refugee crises – the forced displacements during the pre-Dayton wars & conflicts that transformed the WB into an European ‘migration champion’ (the biggest forced migration flows after SWW); the Balkan refugee road during the Syrian migration crisis; recent new wave in some countries, BH being emblematic for both the first and third wave. The paper will compare the refugee crises in social (origin, profile and size of the flows) and policy terms (crisis management). Three policy perspectives are relevant for the analysis: national, regional and European.

The multiplication of migration crises could take different forms. The paper will examine the applicability to the WB of the author’s differentiation between ‘factual’ and ‘post-democratic migration crisis’ and of the idea that ‘If the migration crisis did not exist, it would have been invented by populist leaders’.

‘Engage. Enable. Empower’ – the new policy prioritization of labor migrations

Regional labor mobility, emigration, (virtual) return, immigration illustrate the large bouquet of labor migrations mobilised in the double aim of soft connectivity of the post-conflict region and of the socio-economic development of the WB countries. The migration & development nexus is the policy innovation of the last decade crystalized in new legislation, institutionalization, policy documents and (good) practices. The Albanian ‘3E approach’ – Engage, Enable, Empower – expresses the positive pathos of the new policy mainstream. The paper will scrutinize the capacity of labor migration policy to change the profile of a region marked by forced displacements and refugee waves.

Policy recommendations inspired by the new Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The new Pact is a fully fledge policy document with innovative ideas such as ‘flexible solidarity’ and comprehensive approach encompassing migration and integration, security and borders, cooperation with neighbouring and partnership countries. The Pact was adopted by the EC last September. The policy recommendations aim to outline paths for improvement of migration & integration policies in WB in the light of the new policy priorities and agenda.

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