This event was jointly organised by the OECD LEED Centre for Local Development and the International Labour Office (ILO) with its Subregional Office for Central and Eastern Europe.
The expert meeting was a follow-up to the OECD study visit to the regions of Gjirokaster, Tirana and Vlore in 2005 as part of the OECD cross-country activity on local integration of migrants into the labour market. The experts meeting debated the draft policy recommendations resulting from the study visit. In Albania the research examines the results of national and local initiatives aimed at: a) promoting local development to avoid the “brain drain” problem and attract talents; b) devising specific measures aimed at re-integrating returning migrants in the labour market, and c) effectively fighting illegal migration. Special attention was devoted to issues of skills development, job creation and upward labour mobility, as well as to broader local development strategies, which affect the conditions for migration. It also examined whether the promotion of self-employment and entrepreneurship can provide satisfactory answers to both the issues of re-integration and the emersion of the informal economy. Finally, the role of migrants’ remittances and their impact on local development was assessed when possible.
The International Labour Office (ILO) developed several activities in South Eastern Europe to foster the use of remittances for income generation activities. Indeed, the ILO views remittances as a form of social finance, i.e. financial transaction that optimises private and social returns, and which can yield a win-win situation for the migrant, for his/her family, for the home community and for the economy of the home country. In Albania, the ILO has joined efforts with the Government, international community and relevant actors to define a policy to foster the productive use of remittances (including the elaboration of a National Action Plan included in the National Strategy for Migration in November 2005), and, as follow up for the biennium 2007 – 2008, will explore the implementation of concrete local projects to connect migrants with their family who remained in Albania.
This meeting was an opportunity for policy-makers and practitioners to discuss findings of the field work on migration and impacts on local economic development. The debate on prospects for and barriers in implementing the draft policy recommendations provided inspirations for further country work in this thematic area.
For further information please contact: Ms Andrea-Rosalinde Hofer at the Trento Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mr Andrea Salvini at the ILO (email@example.com)