Well-managed migration is an important tool to support sustainable development of Slovakia and Europe.
Migration and development
Development potential of migration is based on the concept of circular migration. European institutions define circular migration as repeated legal migration of the same person between two or more countries. In general, well-managed circular migration is considered to be an effective tool to support development, as it allows for transfer of resources from central (high-income countries) to peripheral areas (rural areas, low-income countries).
Circular migration is mostly a natural process, as many labour migrants prefer temporary stay abroad to gain economic or career advantage and later return home, especially if the political and economic situation in the country of origin improves sufficiently and the difference between income and life expenditures is acceptably reduced compared to the more economically developed country (currently, we are witnessing a similar process in Slovakia).
However, the development potential of migration needs to be enhanced by coordinated and appropriate management based on cooperation between the sending and receiving countries. According to the Migration Policy Institute, well-managed, development-driven circular migration is based on the following measures:
introducing legal and simple methods of mobility between the source and destination countries,
protecting migrants from exploitation (by intermediaries, agencies),
reducing (social and economic) costs of migration,
incentives to promote the circular and temporary nature of migration/measures to support return,
linking migration and development policies.
The European Migration Agency is developing activities based on the above-mentioned principles of circular migration management. For example, we contribute to the development of pilot activities of the IT Association of Slovakia (ITAS) and the Digital Coalition, which, in cooperation with the Simon Kuznec National Economic University in Kharkiv and the University of Economics and Management of Public Administration (VŠEMVS), prepared and launched a pilot joint study programme for Ukrainian students of information technology.
The programme is supported by the sponsorship of Slovak employers who provide scholarships to students, enable them to gain professional experience with mentor supervision and, after completion of the study, offer two-year employment contracts during which the firm's investment in the student is returned. EMA will endeavour to formalise of the programme in the coming years, to gain systematic support from the Slovak government and to strengthen the development component of the programme through the return of graduates to Ukraine.