Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

Upon invitation of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro, representatives of 14 states gathered in the beautiful town of Budva on 24-26 September for the Training on Labour migration. The 2.5-day training covered the whole cycle of labour migration, ranging from pre-departure and pre-decision activities to skills recognition and reintegration steps.

Each of the five thematic sessions entailed case studies, discussions and exercises to enhance participants’ understanding of the particular challenges and international good practices. Three excellent trainers carried out the training: Mr Andrea Salvini (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Ms Agnieszka Kulesa (Polish Center for Social and Economic Research) and Ms Lisa Andersson (Maastricht University).

The introductory tour-de-table highlighted a set of common challenges among the attending states, such as the need to develop comprehensive external labour migration strategies, to attract (highly skilled and skilled) foreign labour force while simultaneously protecting the national labour market, or to design and conclude bi- and multilateral agreements in this policy area.

After a short re-introduction of the key findings of the Prague Process Handbook on Managing Labour and Circular Migration, participants had an opportunity to exercise the design of pre-departure and pre-decision systems for specific migration corridors and to develop a strategy for cross-border labour matching. Moreover, they were invited to address the frequent employment of migrant workers in the shadow economy and to tailor a reintegration package for return migrants.

The results of this training shall lead to an update of the Handbook on Managing Labour and Circular Migration. Nonetheless, further capacity building activities in this particular policy area shall be sought in the future.

Representing the fourth activity of the Prague Process Training Academy, the training addressed the following provisions of the Prague Process Action Plan:

  • To strengthen the capacities of employment services and authorities to manage labour migration in order to better respond to national labour market needs and to better inform potential migrants on the possibilities of legal migration.
  • To share experiences and best practices in organising labour migration.
  • To strengthen cooperation on assessment of migrants’ skills and competences between countries of origin and destination in order to avoid “brain waste”, including through reinforcing the comparability of professional profiles.
  • To share experiences and best practices on social protection schemes and to encourage negotiations and the conclusion of agreements on social security.
  • To create support programmes aimed at the reintegration of migrants into labour markets in their countries of origin, taking into account proper use of their skills and competences acquired abroad.