Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states
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The past 30 years have seen several waves of asylum seekers from the post-Soviet region reaching the EU, including from the Central Asian (CA) and Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. Their relatively small numbers resulted in limited attention by the research community. Yet, in 2018, asylum seekers from the two regions accounted for over 7% of all first-time asylum applicants in the EU. The extremely low recognition rate of asylum applications and the broad demographic profile among asylum seekers from the eight countries examined suggests that they actually abuse the EU asylum system to improve their socioeconomic situation. The witnessed mixed flows of forced and voluntary migration from the EaP and CA states challenge the efficiency of the EU asylum and international protection system. Several aspects deserve particular attention in this respect: the inclusion of the CA and EaP countries in the lists of safe countries of origin (SCO), resulting in accelerated asylum procedures; and the need for proper awareness-raising about regular migration channels to the EU MS.

The new Background Note 'Asylum seekers from the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian Countries in the EU' authored by Dr. Olga R. Gulina and released by the Prague Process Migration Observatory provides a statistical overview on the inflows, demographic indicators and recognition rates of asylum seekers coming to the European Union, focusing on eight countries of origin, located in the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia region: Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The document entails evidence on the socio-economic and political push factors behind these flows and the policy context they are embedded in. Particular attention is given to the classification of these countries as so-called ‘safe countries of origin’, in spite of the ongoing or frozen territorial conflicts suffered by some of them. Several conclusions and recommendations are drawn at the end.

To preview and download the Note please use this link.

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The Prague Process Migration Observatory and ICMPD's Regional Coordination Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) regularly monitor and collect the most recent news on a variety of migration-related topics from the EECA region. Herewith, we present you the latest edition of the MEDIA DIGEST covering news released in July 2020.

All previous editions of the Media Digest can be accessed here. New Digest issues are being published at the beginning of each month featuring news items of the previous month. Each issue provides readers with a concise overview of the main migration developments in the region. All news in the digest is grouped by country and category. To open a news item click on the link in the second column, that will take you to the original source. To navigate across the issues please 1) click on the issue you are interested in (e.g. July 2020); 2) click on "search tools" button at the top and use country/category filters to see the news most relevant to you. To remove all filters click "Clear" at the top.

Should you wish to share any relevant news with the Prague Process readers, please reach out to the Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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We gladly present you the infographic that features all remote Prague Process activities organised in March-July 2020 in line with the adopted Contingency Plans in view of coronavirus pandemic. It entails in-built links to access the respective publications and video recordings. Please preview and download the infographic in English or in Russian.

Our vast Repository contains all recent and older Publications, video-recordings of the webinars and interviews with state officials and academic experts, studies, manuals, Migration Profiles and more.

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Much is said and written about the platform economy with many reports and studies highlighting that the majority of jobs will be freelance and plat­form-based within a few years. In the new Policy Brief “Migration and the Platform Economy”, Glen Hodgson looks at what perspectives the platform economy can provide to migrants. Third-country nationals cannot get locked in a tech­nology-facilitated parallel economy which leads to unstable incomes, limited training and social isolation. The COVID-19 crisis has led to rising unemploy­ment and the recovery is likely to be characterised by increased labour market flexibility. Significant demand remains in some sectors - for both low and high-skilled workers - and the platform economy can help in turning black jobs white and integrating migrants into host country labour forces. Work permits should be granted to migrants where jobs are available, while efforts should be made by all stakeholders to build trust in the platform economy through collaboration and the establishment of a Code of Conduct.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

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The 5th Prague Process webinar ‘Maximizing labour migration outcomes in the Prague Process corridors: Practices on how to benchmark countries of destination in June 2020’ with Andrea Salvini, Independent Advisor on Labour Migration, took place on 2 July 2020.

The webinar helped participants to familiarize with diagnostic tools to compare countries of destinations, especially focusing on low- and medium-skills sectoral shortages. The methods to assess skills shortages were touched upon with in-migration systems, integration prospects, working and living conditions, as well as wages analysed so as to maximize remittances gains. Government officials from both countries of origin and of destination had the opportunity to discuss trade-offs between circular and long-term migration policy options, as well as how to adapt TVET components of both pre-departure and post-arrival services to strategic needs. The webinar also shed light on some implications brought about by the COVID19 crisis and policy responses had been witnessed by June 2020.

The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first contains the presentation of Andrea Salvini only while the second one represents the full-length video recording of the webinar, entailing also the Q&A session.

To watch the shorter version, please go here

To watch the full-length video, please go here

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The 4th Prague Process webinar ‘Assessing the EU’s External Migration Policy’ with Kristof Tamas, Director of the Stockholm-based Migration Studies Delegation (Delmi), took place on 18 June 2020.

Mr Tamas provided his assessment of the EU’s External Migration Policy, while also reflecting upon the recent impacts of the coronavirus in this area. The webinar looked at how the EU’s external cooperation on migration had revolved around the Global Approach to Migration (and Mobility) since 2005 (2011) and the Migration Partnership Framework under the European Agenda on Migration since 2016. It focused in particular on the role of Migration Dialogues in the process of finding common ground with third countries and proposed new ways to accommodate the interests of partner countries within this cooperation framework. The webinar was based on the findings of the policy brief with the same title ‘Assessing the EU’s External Migration Policy’ authored by Kristof.

The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first contains the presentation of Kristof Tamas only while the second one represents the full-length video recording of the webinar, entailing also the Q&A session.

To watch the shorter version, please go here

To watch the full-length video, please go here

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The new April-June 2020 issue of the Prague Process Quarterly Review is now available for download in English and Russian.

Already at the time of publishing the previous issue of the Quarterly Review, it was clear that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic would affect all thematic areas of the Prague Process. A few months later, we can only confirm this assumption. Mobility has halted, many labour migrants and regular travellers are stuck in limbo, remittances have dropped, asylum seekers could not file applications, and return became practically impossible. The focus on the negative trends has dominated the public and political discourse over the past months. For this reason, people get increasingly worried about the future. All current events and political strategies are observed through the coronavirus lens.

Yet, the virus also unveiled some positive developments. Many countries regularised swiftly the stay of migrants and tourists who could not leave because of the imposed travel restrictions. Some went a step further and almost equated the rights of stranded migrants with those of their citizens to ensure the disbursement of social benefits. Germany, for instance, suddenly allowed short-term migrants to seek employment. Moreover, a wave of civil initiatives helping migrants with shelter and food has appeared. The pandemic also forced states to rethink the role of labour migrants in various vital occupations, as they proved critical for the national economy and health systems.

These past few months have also been extraordinary for the Prague Process Secretariat. We successfully launched the Prague Process Webinar series and organised the first online training. These online events gathered many actors who would otherwise not have been able to participate in the usual face-to-face meetings. These various remote activities have hopefully provided a useful tool for state officials to remain informed and keep up with their daily work.

This issue will provide you with a short overview of the activities implemented over the past three months, as well as wider regional developments. It also features a few reading recommendations, including the latest Policy briefs of the Prague Process Migration Observatory. 

To see all issues please go to the section "Quarterly Review" under News & Events.

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The third Prague Process webinar 'The Impact of COVID-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in the EU' with Ruslan Minich and Pavlo Kravchuk took place on 28 May 2020.

The webinar reflected upon the situation of Ukrainian labour migrants, who constitute the largest group of migrant workers in Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy, in particular, and inside the EU as a whole. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, labour migrants lose their jobs and livelihood, overstay their visas, residence and work permits, whilst also encountering various challenges in their attempts to return home. Meanwhile, the host countries suffer from the lack of migrant farmworkers who are essential for the food supply chains. Pavlo and Ruslan outlined which of the migration policy measures introduced in response to COVID-19 have worked and which have not, proposing some practical solutions that could inspire other countries as well.

The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first only contains the presentation of Ruslan Minich and Pavlo Kravchuk, the second one represents the full-length video recording of the webinar, entailing also the Q&A session.

To watch the shorter version, please go here

To watch the full-length video, please go here

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Like other high-income countries, Austria is an attractive destination for many labour migrants who compensate for the existing labour shortages in a wide range of economic sectors and occupations. Immigrants from the East predominantly fill vacancies in Accommodation and Food, Cleaning and Support Services, and Agriculture economic sectors. While the Austrian economy benefits from immigration, emigration affects the origin countries whose working-age populations have been shrinking and giving rise to economic and social tensions.

The new policy brief "Labour migration from East to West: The example of foreign workers in Austria" authored by Mr Stefan Vogtenhuber and released by the Prague Process Migration Observatory uses the immigration of workers from the Eastern countries to Austria as an example to discuss the labour flows and analyse their impact on sending and receiving countries.

The brief argues that when imposing stricter immigration regimes that allow for skilled immigration only, receiving states should consider that such policies may increase the brain drain in sending countries. Policies that reduce the brain drain and contribute to positive feedback effects in the way of remittances or the transfer of knowledge are recommended for sending countries. Considering that migration is a common challenge that calls for cooperation at all policy levels across regions, which are highly interwoven economically, policymakers should be able to closely monitor the demographic trends and the phenomena associated with international migration in both sending and receiving countries.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

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The Prague Process Migration Observatory announces the release of the new policy brief "Armenia's migration cooperation with the European Union and Eurasian Economic Union" authored by Ms Haykanush Chobanyan, Head of the External Relations Division of the State Migration Service of Armenia.  

This policy brief aims to analyse Armenia’s cooperation on migration with the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), looking in particular at the resulting simultaneous efforts and obligations, as well as their impact on the national migration policy and actual flows experienced.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

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