Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The Prague Process webinar The Impact of COVID-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in the EU’ with Ruslan Minich and Pavlo Kravchuk from Europe without Barriers will present the main findings of their recently published policy brief and allow them to answer to questions from the audience.

The webinar will reflect 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 will outline 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 Prague Process webinar The impact of the Corona-crisis on migration with Professor Rainer Muenz will address possible scenarios of how labour migration may evolve in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (and thereafter). Effects will distinguish between the following groups:

  • Migrant workers prevented from leaving or entering a country because of travel restrictions;
  • Migrants becoming unemployed as a result of the recession triggered by anti-COVID 19 measures
  • Irregular migrants living in COVID 19 affected countries.

The Prague Process Secretariat at ICMPD invites you to the first Prague Process webinar “The possible impact of COVID-19 on the EU’s demand for high-skilled migrants”, taking place on 16 April 2020 at 10:30 AM CET. Mr Glen Hodgson, Founder and CEO of the Independent Think Tank Free Trade Europa, will present and answer questions on this important matter.

The coronavirus outbreak will have significant implications on migration. We therefore want to offer an analysis of the current state of play amid the ongoing pandemic and assess its potential future impact on the EU’s labour market. Mr Hodgson authored the Policy brief “Intra-corporate Transferees (ICTs): The benefits for the EU and the opportunity cost”, which was recently published within the Prague Process Migration Observatory.

Despite the issue of refugees and illegal migration grabbing the headlines across Europe, the EU requires high-skilled labour and this demand cannot be met from within its own borders. European economic growth, business competitiveness and labour markets all suffer as a result. The Directive on Intra-Corporate Transferees (ICTs) was adopted in order to address this shortfall, given the clear shortages in sectors like computer programming and engineering.

The full range of simplifications and options available in the ICT Directive are still not offered across the EU. The current patchwork means that arbitrary quota systems exist in some countries; approval/rejection processes are different across the EU; some countries do not have a fast track system; and intra-EU mobility as well as the ability of ICTs to work at customer sites is limited in certain EU Member States. Moreover, the entire process is often slow and administratively heavy too, meaning that businesses cannot get the skills they need, when they need them. The result is that companies and the economy as a whole lose out.

The new policy brief "Intra-corporate Transferees (ICTs): The benefits for the EU and the opportunity cost" authored by Glen Hodgson outlines recommendations for each of the above areas and highlights some best practice.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

The Prague Process has included the migration-development nexus as one of its six thematic areas. Various activities have been conducted in this area over the past years, although the issue of policy coherence has not been at the centre of these initiatives. A substantial part of the Prague Process member states is also European Union member states. What are the lessons learnt from the EU’s experience with policy coherence for development? How can they be useful for the Prague Process?

These and many other questions are addressed in the new policy brief released by the Prague Process Migration Observatory "Making the EU’s Migration and Development Policies More Coherent" authored by Kristof Tamas.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

The emergence of atypical human trafficking schemes poses new challenges to Ukraine’s authorities in terms of identifying, returning and assisting the trafficking victims. The most problematic cases feature the involvement of trafficking victims into criminal activities abroad. As the public authorities often fail in making a coordinated effort and in gaining the trust of the trafficking victims, the successful response to human trafficking continues to depend considerably on the active engagement of non-governmental and international organisations, as well as private persons. The state, however, has already accumulated sufficient experience in order to proactively assume its responsibility for the victims. In order to raise the level of trust towards the competent institutions and ensure an improved response to human trafficking, the state must address the remaining legislative gaps, improve the coordination between the responsible agencies and ensure that their personnel is properly trained and adheres to the principle of confidentiality towards the trafficking victims.

Read more in the new policy brief released by the Prague Process Migration Observatory "Countering Human Trafficking: Identifying, Returning and Assisting Victims from Ukraine" authored by Andriy Orlean.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) released its economic forecast for Central, East and Southeast Europe (CESEE) amid the outbreak of the coronavirus. The prognosis is unpromising, urging the countries to prepare for the worst year since the global financial crisis.  

The rest of Europe is likely to follow the Italian example of the coronavirus spread. The growing pressure on the national health systems and lockdown restrictions similar to those of China or Italy will drive a lot of countries and firms into financial difficulties, while the recession of the first half of 2020 could be among the deepest of all time.

In times of the coronavirus outbreak and the closure of state borders, the Prague Process Migration Observatory continues to release new publications.  Herewith, we gladly present you the new Policy brief "Russian nationals looking for refuge in the European Union" authored by Olga Gulina.

This policy brief analyses the past and present flows of Russian nationals seeking asylum in the EU identifies the main challenges and puts forward concrete recommendations for policymakers in Russia and the EU.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

For the 7th time, ICMPD organises the International Summer School on Migration. The summer school is a joint initiative by two ICMPD-led projects: the “Sustaining Migration Management in Georgia” (ENIGMMA 2) project and the “Prague Process: Dialogue, Analyses and Training in Action” (PP DATA) initiative – component of the Mobility Partnership Facility (MPF).

ICMPD invites all interested candidates to apply through March 31st, 2020, midnight CET.

The Summer School takes place in Georgia from 28 June to 4 July 2020.

On 12 February 2020, members of the Prague Process Secretariat at ICMPD had the pleasure to attend the lecture of Mr. Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission, at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna.

Outlining the priorities of the new European Commission, Vice-President Schinas highlighted that the main theme for the coming five years would be a threefold ‘transition’ of the EU:

  1. Transition into ‘Green Europe’, based on the recently announced ‘Green Deal’;
  2. The Digital Transition, including the introduction of 5G technology and Artificial Intelligence as real game-changers to our way of life;
  3. Transition into a resilient and cohesive EU, offering security and opportunities to its citizens.