High-Level Conference 2022






to indert date 17 May 2022  ton insert placeParis, France  

How can governments manage labour migration and create a promising future for its citizens and businesses? Taking part in the Human Capital Flight – Shaping the Future Together conference were leaders, policy makers and researchers in discussions around how strengthening domestic labour markets and talent transformation can drive socio-economic development in South East Europe. 

This high-level event examined the different ways that the region can draw on its human capital – the skills, experience and talents of its citizens – to make the region prosperous and competitive. Sessions will draw on the OECD’s analytical insights and policy recommendations, including Labour Migration in the Western Balkans (2022)  and the South East Europe Competitiveness Outlook 2021, and offered participants the opportunity to discuss challenges and exchange good practices.

The conference brought together Ministers in charge of economic affairs and development, and high-level representatives from South East Europe and from OECD and EU member countries, the European Commission, international partner organisations and non-governmental organisations, as well as other regional stakeholders. 

 Conference documents:

Emigration from the Western Balkan Six (WB6) region has been significant for decades, generating a large diaspora. In 2020, more than one in five citizens born in the region lived abroad, predominantly in a handful of OECD countries. This trend is set to continue as more than one third of WB6 citizens surveyed in 2021 consider emigrating. While sustained high emigration levels, especially of young talents, can pose severe development challenges, the large and growing diaspora also provides opportunities for the region.

This report analyses labour migration patterns of the WB6 economies, reflects on their root causes as well as potential consequences, and examines the economies’ current migration and diaspora policies. It builds on results from an original survey of WB6 emigrants in addition to a wide range of international migration data sources and WB6 stakeholder consultations.

The report provides WB6 policy makers with targeted policy recommendations on how to address structural challenges, in order to mitigate the consequences and maximise the benefits from emigration for the region's own socio-economic development, by strengthening ties with the diaspora and capitalising on its skills and investment resources.

Economy-specific two-pagers:  Albania - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Kosovo* - Montenegro   - North Macedonia - Serbia

Presentation (17 May) - Labour migration in the Western Balkans - Key findings

1st Ministerial Panel - Key messages 

2nd Ministerial Panel - Key messages 



More OECD publications on migration 

Latest publications from the South East Europe Regional Programme 

Since 2000, the South East Europe Regional Programme has provided a space in which governments, business leaders and civil society have worked together in co-operation with the OECD to meet economic challenges, including weathering the global economic and financial crisis and preparing for EU accession. The programme has helped regional economies to design and implement reforms, in order to foster private sector development and competitiveness, attract more and better investment and raise living standards.

The Competitiveness in South East Europe: A Policy Outlook 2021 report assesses policy reforms in the six Western Balkan economies across 16 policy dimensions crucial to their competitiveness. It leverages a highly participatory assessment process, which brought together the views of OECD experts, regional policy makers and local non-governmental stakeholders to create a balanced and realistic depiction of their performance. It offers a multi-dimensional benchmarking tool, enabling governments to compare their performance against regional peers as well as OECD good practices, and to design future policies. Read the concise pocketbook

Economy-specific two-pagers: Albania  - Bosnia and Herzegovina  - Kosovo* -  Montenegro  -  North Macedonia  -  Serbia

  • SME Policy Index: Western Balkans and Turkey 2019 

    This report provides a comprehensive overview of the implementation of the ten principles of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA) in the seven EU pre-accession economies over the period 2016-18. It monitors progress against similar assessments performed over the past decade and identifies the outstanding challenges affecting SMEs. It also provides targeted recommendations to remove barriers to SME development and unleashing their potential for driving inclusive economic growth.

 In cooperation with:

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This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo’s declaration of independence.”


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