Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The Prague Process Migration Observatory announces the release of the new analytical paper 'Building better return and reintegration programs' authored by Glen Swan.

Return and reintegration programs are an important part of overall migration management. Most countries place significant emphasis on entry requirements to regulate migration inflows, and equal emphasis on return and reintegration is necessary. This paper predominantly looks at the voluntary return and addresses those return programs that link with some form of post-return assistance (reception assistance, post-arrival assistance, reintegration assistance) in the country of origin. It identifies efficiencies and methods that represent best practice and increase performance of the program. It also identifies new perspectives and new ways of viewing traditional policy and program settings. Return and reintegration programs are governed by traditional program settings and function in a standardised manner. However, it is important to recognise the limitations of general program settings. This paper examines the function and utility of these programs. Additionally, there is a discussion of major program features and operational challenges. The paper includes findings from a short examination of return and reintegration programs for all fifty Prague Process participant states.

To preview and download the new analytical report please use this link.

On 28 January 2021, the Prague Process organises its 2nd Policy Talk ‘Migration Outlook for 2021: From COVID-19 to the EU’s Pact on Migration and Asylum’ with Mr Jean-Louis De Brouwer, Director of the European Affairs Program, Egmont Institute, and Mr Ralph Genetzke, Director, Head of Brussels Mission, ICMPD. The talk will be moderated by Mr Martijn Pluim, Director, Migration Dialogues and Cooperation at ICMPD.

The distinguished panellists will discuss the key migration policies to watch in 2021, focusing on the EU and its neighbourhood. Building on the main lessons from 2020, they will look into the various implications of COVID-19 on migration and mobility, trying to sketch out the ‘new normal’ following an eventual recovery from the ongoing health emergency. The internal and external dimensions of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum shall be assessed from an international cooperation perspective. The conversation shall also shed light on the megatrends of climate change and digitalisation.

The 8th Prague Process webinar ‘Building better return and reintegration programs’ with Glen Swan, ICMPD Consultant on Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, took place on 6 October 2020.

This webinar presented a short background on AVRR program principles, discussed current operational challenges and provided recommendations for agile program design. Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is a continuing topic of interest in migration management. Voluntary return is presented as a dignified method of return, but there are often many challenges associated with effectively implementing a successful AVRR program. Accurate policy settings are part of the challenge, as are operational and political objectives.

The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first contains the presentation of Mr Swan 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

The seventh Prague Process webinar ‘EU Framework for Legal Migration: Lessons learned and main challenges’ with Monica Alfaro from Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, took place on 24 September 2020.

The webinar provided an overview of the EU Directives on legal migration, the results of the recent Fitness check on the respective EU framework and resulting lessons learned. The webinar further addressed the main challenges faced at EU level in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The webinar recording is available in two formats: the first contains the presentation of Ms Alfaro 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

The 9th Prague Process webinar ‘From refugee crises to labour migration and back? Lessons for migration policies in the Western Balkans’ with Professor Anna Krasteva, the New Bulgarian University,  will take place on 17 December 2020 at 10:30 CET.

The webinar will dive into the migration realities of the Western Balkan region torn between the urgency of refugee management and the legacy of forced migration on the one side, and the need to prioritize labour migration as a tool for national and regional development on the other side. Prof. Krasteva will explain how and whether a labour migration policy can change the existing profile of the WB region, as well as provide related policy recommendations inspired by the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum.

The Prague Process Policy Talk 'The EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum: What role for international cooperation?' with Ms. Maria-Myrto Kanellopoulou, cabinet member of Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, and Mr. Martijn Pluim, ICMPD Director for Migration Dialogues and Cooperation,  took place on 22 October 2020. It focused on the Pact’s external dimension and possible ways for its operationalisation.

Described by the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, as the ‘most holistic attempt of the EC to establish a common EU migration and asylum system’, the EU’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum has attracted a great deal of attention. With internal solidarity being the most contested topic within the EU, the Pact’s external dimension represents the point of gravity for countries in the EU Neighbourhood, including the members of the Prague Process.

The New Pact is comprised of three main strands: the external dimension, robust management of the EU’s external borders and firm but fair internal rules, which ensure that solidarity is provided to the Member States under pressure. The Pact is designed to ensure that solidarity is effective in practice and that the challenges of migration are addressed comprehensively – be it outside or inside the EU.

Watch the Policy Talk in English

Watch the Policy Talk in Russian

Demographic trends in the Prague Process region have been stable over the last years with some countries consistently losing their population due to the natural decline and the negative net migration rate. Our new infographic depicts the key demographic changes across the Prague Process region in 2020 while showcasing the highest population increases and decreases, as well as demographic projections up to 2100. This visualisation was first published in the Prague Process Quarterly Review No 24 July-September 2020. 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.

We are happy to announce the release of the new issue of the Prague Process Quarterly Review covering various developments, events and activities of the third quarter of 2020.

In the EU, the third quarter of 2020 started with Germany taking over the EU Council Presidency and ended with the release of the EU’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum. In its role of acting Presidency, Germany joined the Strategic Group of the Prague Process and will host the upcoming Prague Process Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) on 16 November, which will take place remotely this year. Lithuania, the current Chair of the Process, attended the annual meeting of the “Inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration”. After two years, it will hand over its chairmanship to the Czech Republic during the upcoming SOM. The Prague Process Secretariat meanwhile continued its webinar series in line with the Contingency Plan, which the Prague Process Strategic Group recently decided to extend.  

The Mobility Partnership opens up new perspectives for potential cooperation between the signatory EU Member States and the Republic of Belarus. It brings an opportunity to develop a comprehensive migration policy, and to ensure the safe movement of migrants and their social and legal protection. The full potential of the Mobility Partnership is yet to be mobilized. It could provide incentives to improve labour migration legislation, further expand educational programs, pave the way to visa liberalisation or see the launch of new projects on migration.

The new policy brief "The EU-Belarus Mobility Partnership: The Way Forward" authored by Anastacia Bobrova analyses the implementation of the individual policy areas addressed by the Mobility Partnership and outlines a set of corresponding recommendations.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.