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Migration for development in the Western Balkans (February 2011 – December 2012)

Project type: Technical Cooperation

Geographical coverage: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo under UNSCR 1244

Executing agency: International Organization for Migration

Beneficiaries: Migrant Service Centres in the Western Balkans; migrants and countries of origin

Partner(s):  Migration, Asylum, Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI) Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, Germany; The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw)

Duration: February 2011 – December 2012


The overall objective of the action was to strengthen and increase the capacity of the existing network of Migrant Service Centres (MSC) in the Western Balkans in order to ensure efficient dissemination of information about legal channels for migration among potential labour migrants. The project also aimed to provide opportunities for return of skills and human capital and their contribution to the development of the Western Balkans (WB) to the mutual benefit of migrants and countries of origin.

Project results:

1. Promote  and  support cooperation initiatives between  the  relevant actors  in  EU Member  States  and in the Western  Balkans  to facilitate the entry  of potential migrants to the labour markets in the EU and the Western Balkans.

  • Strengthen cross border inter-service cooperation so as to enable relevant administration to provide up-to-date and accurate information to potential migrants on the risks linked to illegal immigration, as well on available channels for legal migration, including the entry requirements to EU labour market and conditions of temporary residence;
  • Develop databases of skills per sector needed in the EU and in the Western Balkans;
  • Develop databases of skills per sector needed in the EU and in the Western Balkans
  • Provide information to graduate students for paid trainings in the EU with incentives for return

2. Develop  measures  to facilitate the return  of skilled  labour  forces, reintegrating them  into  their  home  society,  and  supporting the dissemination of new acquired  skills.

  • - Create temporary or virtual return programmes;
  • Foster institutional partnerships between the EU Member States and the Western Balkans in association with Community Programmes
  • Promote initiatives to support professional and socio-economic reintegration of the returned migrants
  • Support mechanisms and initiatives of students or other skilled migrants returning to their countries with a view to disseminate their skills for the benefit of these countries;
  • Reinforce consular cooperation between the authorities of the Western Balkans and of EU Members States by developing exchange of information between administrations
  • Share experience in managing short-term return programmes