Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The EU is witnessing an influx of refugees from Ukraine on a far greater scale than in 2015-2016. What will be the status of the new arrivals; what can be done for non-Ukrainians trying to escape the conflict; and what does it mean for EU asylum policy in the medium term? These and other questions are addressed in the new ICMPD Expert Voice prepared by Hugo Brady, a senior strategic adviser at ICMPD. The Expert Voice was published on 28 Fenruary 2022. It is also available in Russian and Ukrainian languages.

ICMPD’s Migration Outlook on the situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) presents a brief analysis of migration and policy trends in the region and provides an outlook on developments and  key issues to watch out for in 2022. The paper covers developments in the twelve EECA countries according to ICMPD’s geographic division: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

This Outlook highlights the most important and relevant trends in EECA without intending to cover all migration-related developments. The main goal of this publication is, therefore, to provide expert perspectives on how migration might evolve across the region in 2022, based on ICMPD’s regional office experience. In this regard, while migration trends in the region are largely impacted by geopolitical developments and challenges, and often triggered by geopolitical tensions and conflicts in the region and its surrounding areas, this paper focuses only on migration-related outlook for 2022.

Six Background Notes were established to inform the intergovernmental consultations held in summer 2021. The consultations served the update of the Prague Process Action Plan and its six thematic areas. The fourth Ministerial Conference in October 2022 shall endorse a new Action Plan, which shall frame the Prague Process cooperation throughout 2023-2027. 

The Background Notes are available for download in the Repository:

ICMPD and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) started a two-year pilot initiative to contribute to the development of skills and employment opportunities in partner and EU countries through migration and mobility-based skills partnerships that benefit migrants, countries of origin and destination. The INSPIRE project (December 2021-November 2023) constitute BMZ and ICMPD’s joint response to the lack of a dedicated platform for dialogue on skills partnerships designed to engage and raise awareness of available partnership instruments as well as offer the chance to harness the development potential of the newly launched Talent Partnerships.  

As a cross-regional Private Sector Engagement initiative, INSPIRE is set to develop and promote partnership schemes between EU Member States and partner countries from the Eastern Partnership region, Western Balkans and Africa

The project holds at its main focus partnerships that build, further strengthen and match the green and digital skills needed by partner countries, Europe and their private sector actors in target industries through mobility and migration. Concretely, the INSPIRE project will bring together competent national authorities, partner countries’ Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), European SMEs, industry groups, and financial institutions from the EU and the target countries into a dialogue on skills partnerships.

Inspire will be officially launched in the presence of key stakeholders in Vienna on 1 March 2022.

More information about the project can be found here and here.

The Prague Process Policy Talk: ‘Labour Mobility inside the EU and Beyond: Introducing the European Labour Authority’, with Ms Slavka Eley, Head of Governance and Coordination at the European Labour Authority (ELA), and Mr Martin Hofmann, ICMPD Principal Advisor, is taking place on 27 January 2022 at 10:30 CET.

After an introduction of the role and mandate of the European Labour Authority, its priorities for 2021-2022 and operational activities, the two distinguished panellists will jointly assess some broader trends in European labour markets, their imbalances, sector-specific challenges and recurring problems. The focus will be on the implications of all this for labour mobility within the EU and beyond. In how far could enhanced intra-EU mobility, a targeted upskilling effort and the possible contribution of third-country nationals contribute to tackling existing and forthcoming skills shortages? What about the situation of particular mobile groups, such as posted, seasonal, tele or care workers, commuting across borders? The Policy Talk shall also look at the operational aspects of ELA’s and ICMPD’s work. 

This event is targeting the migration authorities, Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs, as well as the public employment services of the Prague Process states.

Please register to the event through the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_dOU0BwA_SBSBMft_EswnkA. You will receive the link to the virtual room, as soon as your registration is approved.

The EU-funded Migration Partnership Facility (MPF) launched a new Call for Proposals, intended to support the implementation of the EU migration policy external dimension, to strengthen dialogue and cooperation on migration and mobility between Member States and priority partner countries outside the EU.

MPF grant funding under this Call (total of 15.2m EUR) will cover projects that:

  1. Support the EU’s migration priorities with partner countries
  2. Align to the new EU Talent Partnership (e.g. labour migration projects)

The Call is open to applicants from EU Member States public bodies, EU Member State-based organizations, and international organizations. The priority geographic coverage for the Call includes the European Neighbourhood, Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership countries and Africa.

There is no specific deadline – it is a rolling call, with project implementation possible until May 2025.

All relevant information, including Guidelines and application package, can be found on the MPF website. Should you have questions, please contact the MPF team directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Prague Process Policy Talk: ‘Learning from 2021: What migration dynamics and policy developments to expect in 2022?’ with Mr Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director of the European Affairs Program, Egmont Institute, and Mr Ralph Genetzke, Director, ICMPD Brussels Mission, is taking place on 20 January 2022 at 10:30 CET.

Following their first Policy Talk in January 2021, the two distinguished panelists meet again to check in how far their expectations for the past year came to reality. Building on the main lessons from 2021, they shall look into the year ahead.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect migration and mobility in 2022? What policy developments in the area of asylum and migration can we expect at EU level and beyond? What are the prospects for the wider EU neighbourhood? What migration dynamics can we expect? How can the Prague Process contribute to improving migration and mobility across the region? Or is the worst yet to come?

Jean-Louis De Brouwer and Ralph Genetzke will try to address some of these questions in a discussion moderated by Malin Frankenhaeuser, Head of Policy, ICMPD.

Please register for the event through the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PmJldU0lSDCDzVpdOqG2bg. 

The Republic of Belarus is both a country of emigration and immigration. The positive net migration notwithstanding, the population of Belarus is slowly declining. Since 1996, it lost over 800,000 people including 60,000 persons in 2020 alone.

According to the 2019 population census, Belarus is home to some 764,000 immigrants most of whom originate from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Over half of them came to Belarus for family reasons.  In the past decade, migration flows to the country have been steadily increasing and reached 34,846 in 2019. Overall, international migrants constitute 10-15% of the total population of Belarus. At the end of 2020, among the holders of temporary residence permits around 40% resided for studies, 24% for business reasons, and 24% due to family reunification.