- June 23, 2020
- June 25, 2020
On June 23-25, the Aspen Institute Germany together with the Southeast Europe Association hosted a digital expert workshop series on “Causes, Effects, and Policy Approaches – Addressing Emigration from the Western Balkans.” The event provided a forum for more than 30 experts from the Western Balkan and the EU in the field of migration and also included representatives of international organizations, regional business associations and youth organizations.
Short input papers by selected researchers provided the basis for the respective expert discussions. Workshop 1 analyzed the trends, motives, and effects of emigration from the Western Balkan region based on insights by Miran Lavrić, Associate professor of Sociology at the University of Maribor, and Nenad Jevtović, Director of the Institute for Development and Innovation in Serbia. The focus of Workshop 2 was on concrete measures and strategies to cope with the challenge of emigration, departing from suggestions by Mirna Jusić, Charles University Prague, and Jelena Predojević-Despić, Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade. Best-practice examples and lessons learned from Romania in the field of brain gain policies were added to the discussion by Remus Anghel, Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities, and Monica Roman, Bucharest University of Economics. Workshop 3 covered the role of the diaspora with contributions by Nermin Oruč, Director of the Centre for Development Evaluation and Social Science Research (CREDI) in Sarajevo, and Lumnije Jusufi from Humboldt-University in Berlin. Furthermore, participants discussed the potential of regional approaches in addressing the challenge departing from ideas put forward by Silvana Mojsovska, University “Ss.Cyril and Methodius” North Macedonia, and Dafina Peci, Governing Board member of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO). Following the presentations, the participants were divided into small working groups to jointly elaborate specific policy recommendations for the respective topics.
The event was supported by the German Federal Foreign Office. The topics and results discussed will feed into a high-level conference on emigration from the Western Balkans, which will be jointly organized by Southeast Europe Association and Aspen Germany in October 2020 in the framework of the German EU Council Presidency.