Author: OECD

Publisher: OECD Publishing

Year: 2022

Language: English

Labour migration from the Western Balkan Six (WB6) economies (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) has been sizeable for decades. Today, about one-fifth of the population born in the Western Balkan Six region lives abroad, mostly in a handful of OECD member countries. While emigrants are often considered a loss for their country of origin, they can also play an important role in boosting economic development in their country of origin.

Against such a backdrop, this report explores how to promote the transfer back of diaspora skills, knowledge, new ideas and investments to support socio-economic development in the Western Balkan Six economies. At the same time, it addresses some of the adverse structural challenges that incite people to look for better opportunities abroad in the first place. It analyses the labour migration patterns of the Western Balkan Six, investigates their root causes as well as potential consequences, and examines the current migration and diaspora policies of these economies. It builds on results from a dedicated survey of emigrants from the Western Balkan Six region, in addition to a wide range of OECD and international migration data sources and regional stakeholder consultations. The report provides Western Balkan Six policy makers with targeted recommendations on how to deal with the factors that incentivise emigration while maximising the benefits from emigration for the Western Balkan Six economies’ own socio-economic development.

Nicola Duell is one of the principal authors of this report along with Lisa Andersson (OECD International Migration Division), Martin Kohtze and Elma Aga and Martina Ciric (all from the OECD South East Europe Division).

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