Kosovo Study Tour on Migration Policies
Emigration from Kosovo is among the highest in the world. Many households in the country have a family member living abroad, a situation caused by a poor economy and the armed conflict of the late 1990s. The remittances from those who have emigrated are vital for their family members in Kosovo, ensuring their wellbeing in a country that has some of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in Europe.
With migration being such an important aspect of Kosovo’s economic and social environment, the government determined to put migration policy at the core of its development agenda. Demonstrating this strong commitment, the government established the Ministry of Diaspora in 2011.
To support Kosovo’s progress, the World Bank produced two studies that pointed to the need to manage migration better and inform policymakers about good practices in migration policies from around the world. The study recommendations were presented to the Ministry of Diaspora, which found the information very useful and asked the Bank to provide further assistance on this matter.
The World Bank identified the Philippines and Jordan as having well developed migration management systems; officials agreed to share their knowledge with members of Kosovo’s Ministry of Diaspora, who would conduct a study tour to Manila and Amman.
The study tour took place in 2012 and 2013, and allowed Ministry staff to learn firsthand about good practices that they could replicate at home. Observing how the Philippine and Jordanian migration institutions were managed was particularly important.
Beneficiaries / Participants
The Government of Kosovo wanted to place migration policy at the core of its development agenda, because emigration plays an important role in the country’s economic and social life. Remittances provide the country’s largest amount of external financing, and their share of the GDP is big by both regional and global standards. Also, Kosovo has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world and migration has been important for relieving labor market pressures.
The Government that came into office in Kosovo in March of 2011 made a strong commitment to using migration policy as a tool for development from the very beginning of its mandate. To demonstrate this commitment, they appointed a Minister for Diaspora in June of the same year.
To support Kosovo’s efforts, the World Bank produced two studies that pointed to Kosovo’s need to manage migration better and inform policymakers about good practices from around the world. The recommendations of the two studies were presented to the Ministry of Diaspora, which found the information very useful.
As of 2012, no World Bank funding was available for technical assistance to Kosovo on matters of migration. The Ministry of Diaspora sought, and ultimately received, some support from other donors.