RE-TURN project starts in Wernigerode with success

From the 13th to the 16th of July about 50 people have joined the kick off conference of an important initiative to support the return of European migrants to their territories of origin in Central Europe.
Kickoff In Wernigerode, in the Region of Saxony Anhalt, with the effective cooperation of the local administration and all authorities the project Return has officially opened its action plan.
European Union has decided to support innovative measures to reattract its human capital through this project, which was approved in the framework of the cooperation programme CENTRAL EUROPE and which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund with 1,77 mln. Euro.

The project title, "Re-Turn", evokes the core idea developed by 12 partners, that is
to create positive conditions for reattracting and retaining human capital and to
counter brain drain.

In fact nowadays the European citizens have the right to work in a any other EU
country, they can move easily to look for jobs in the more competitive areas of the
continent. It means that, pushed by economical motivations, young well educated
people from the weakest regions often move away, causing serious brain drain
As an example it is significant to notice how between 2003 and 2007, about 2.2 mln.
people moved from the New Member States towards the countries of the old EU.
This phenomenon affected not only Eastern Europeans but also other citizens. In
fact, in 2006, e.g. 20,000 Germans moved towards Switzerland, and 12,500 to
Austria - most people due to better work opportunities than in their home
It is estimated, that about 50% of these out-migrants may return to their home
countries within 10 years - a huge potential for regional development as these
people gained new social, cultural and professional competences while being
Thanks to the Re-turn project, universities, local authorities, innovation centres from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia have joined to propose solutions and invert this tendency creating positive
conditions for people that aim to come back and want to be reintegrated into their
home regions.
From 13-16 July 2011, representatives of 8 case study regions and scientific experts
from the involved countries have met to agree on joint initiatives to promote return
migration and foster regional development in some of the weakest regions in
Central Europe.
The project, coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, will have
duration of 3 years. It will develop, share, test and implement new support policies, tools and services in participating regions to promote return migration to the benefit of regional knowledge development.
The actions implemented by Re-Turn partners will be suited to attract educated
emigrants back to their home regions and thus compensating for the losses of
human capital in earlier periods.
In particular the Association for Social and Labour Market Integration from
Germany and UNCEM Piemonte from Italy will develop tools to re-attract migrants
who had left their home regions. For example, the 8 case study regions will be
guided to install telephone hotlines to inform potential return migrants about their
prospects in the home region.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Saxony-Anhalt from Germany, the Mid
Pannon Regional Development Company from Hungary, Marshall's office of
Swietokrzyskie Voivodship from Poland and the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) from Prague in Czech Republic will create tools to re-integrate
returned migrants into their home region.
Finally the Requalification and Information Centre of Most in Czech Republic, the
Marshal's Office of Lodz Voivodship in Poland will create tools to support returning
migrants to become entrepreneurs.
The implementation of these tools is assisted by a transnational Research Advisory
Group consisting of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Germany, the
Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI) in Austria, the IOM Prague, the University of
Szeged in Hungary, and the University of Maribor in Slovenia.
Achieving these ambitious goals is an exciting challenge that all partners can reach
together through active cooperation and innovation.
For further information you can contact

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