Enhancing cooperation among the Prague Process states

The Prague Process webinar ‘Assessing the EU’s External Migration Policy’ with Kristof Tamas, Director of the Stockholm-based Migration Studies Delegation (Delmi), will take place on 18 June 2020 at 10:30 CET.

Kristof Tamas will provide his assessment of the EU’s External Migration Policy, while also reflecting upon the recent impacts of the coronavirus in this area. The webinar will look at how the EU’s external cooperation on migration has 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 will focus in particular on the role of Migration Dialogues in the process of finding common ground with third countries and propose new ways to accommodate the interests of partner countries within this cooperation framework.

The webinar will be based on the findings of the policy brief with the same title ‘Assessing the EU’s External Migration Policy’ authored by Kristof. You may get acquainted with the brief here.

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, will take place on 2 July 2020 at 10:30 CET.

The webinar will help participants familiarize with diagnostic tools to compare countries of destinations, especially focusing on low- and medium-skills sectoral shortages. Methods to assess skills shortages will be 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 will have 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 will also shed light on some implications brought about by the COVID19 crisis and policy responses witnessed by June 2020.

Please register to the webinar through following the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KWNwdNaWQm-ON60yJ3L-yw. You will receive the link to the webinar room, as soon as your registration is approved.

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

This issue of the Quarterly Review is published in times of major uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world. Like any major crisis, it immediately exposed the weaknesses of existing national and international systems and agreements while also making the most vulnerable even more susceptible. While an increasing number of countries are under lockdown, the first ones are already thinking of lifting some of the restrictions introduced. The economic impact of the ongoing crisis remains unknown but the meltdown may be unprecedented.

The longer-term impacts of COVID-19 on migration also remain to be seen. What is the future of labour migration? How will families get by without the remittances existentially needed? When will migrant workers be able to return home, and are they desired to do so at all? Will the criminal services of traffickers and smugglers become ever more demanded but also more brutal in view of the witnessed border closings? What will happen to refugees and internally displaced persons? How does the pandemic affect border management or integration? What about the migrants whose residence and work permits are currently expiring?

This Quarterly Review addresses some of the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration and entails news items related to the coronavirus and others that originate from ‘pre-corona’ times.

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

The coronavirus pandemic negatively impacts Ukrainian labour migrants who form the largest group of foreign workers in Poland, Italy, Czechia, and Hungary. The challenges that migrants encounter nowadays include unemployment and the loss of their livelihood because of the crisis, overstays, and difficulties with return when countries impose travel bans for foreigners. Meanwhile, the host country economies suffer from the lack of migrant farmworkers who are essential for the food supply chains.

The four EU member states address these issues with varying success. This policy brief "The Impact of COVID-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Italy", authored by Ruslan Minich and Pavlo Kravchuk, aims to show what measures work and what do not. For instance, the host countries may allow for online applications and organise journeys for seasonal workers from Ukraine to sustain their food supply chains. Meanwhile, Ukrainians toiling and moiling abroad would benefit from longer-term stay permits to find a new job and from being relieved of the required connection to a particular employer or position. More information in the Ukrainian language would help labour migrants to protect their rights and get some host state support. Furthermore, chatbots may help to manage the communication overload suffered by the competent authorities. Tailor-made support and more options of return would assuage the plight of those who lost their livelihood.

To preview and download the brief please use this link.

The first Prague Process webinar “The possible impact of COVID-19 on the EU’s demand for high-skilled migrants” with Mr Glen Hodgson, Founder and CEO of the Independent Think Tank Free Trade Europa, took place on April 16th.

It offered an analysis of the current state of play amid the ongoing pandemic and assessed its potential future impact on the EU’s labour market. In particular, it looked at possible short and mid-term impact of COVID-19 on labour shortages in the EU and the future of skilled work; existing shortcomings of the relevant EU acquis through the COVID-19 lens and possible solutions; ongoing swift digitalisation and the need for high-qualified migrants to support industries; migration management tools to sustain national economies and welfare systems in the post-coronavirus period.

The webinar is based on the Policy brief “Intra-corporate Transferees (ICTs): The benefits for the EU and the opportunity cost”, published within the Prague Process Migration Observatory.

You can watch the video recording of the webinar in English or in Russian.

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.