Project description

In 2004 and 2007 the right to work in any other EU country has been granted to more than 100 mln people who lived in the new member states of the EU. This caused significant economically motivated migration of people to high-income countries in Western and Northern Europe intensifying brain drain processes of many regions.
On the other hand facts show willingness to come back to original countries but there was observed that people coming back face significant problems in the reintegration process. This was the starting point for development of the Re-Turn proposal.

To create framework conditions for retaining human capital and to counter brain drain Re-Turn aims at pushing the topic of return migration on the political agenda in CE regions. The project provides an account of the extent of return migration, competences and needs of returning migrants as well as concrete measures to promote remigration as a source to foster knowledge development. Re-Turn will develop, test and implement joint strategies, new support policies, tools and services in participating regions to achieve this in a sustainable way.

Only combining differing viewpoints from sending (PL, HU, SI) & receiving countries (AT, CZ, DE, IT) can result in a realistic approach to support return migration. Transnational collaboration helps to think “out of the box” and to become independent from regional paradigms which contradict strategic solutions.

Re-Turn’s main activities are linked to development and implementation of services needed to support migrants in their wish to return as well as promotion of returning migrants as a source of innovative enterprise development. Main outputs will help to achieve sustainable services and support structures to promote return migration (online-tool presenting regional and national remigration trends, handbook with transnational management tools to promote return migration, long-term implemented monitoring tools and support services for return migration).

Based on Re-Turn project, participating regions will strengthen their competitiveness in the long run which will help further cohesion. Perception of decision-makers will change by addressing returning migrants as added value. This will be demonstrated with a joint memorandum of understanding and changed policy documents and working procedures in participating regions for better knowledge development with returning migrants.

The project is divided into 5 Work Packages.

WP0 Project preparation

After presenting the project idea at Central Programme Conference in Verona and receiving positive feedback from potential partners and programme representatives, a consortium of partners located in DE, AT, CZ, PL, HU, IT, SI was established. Partners met in Vienna on 22nd-23rd of March 2010 to develop a work plan and break it into tasks (meeting was organized by PP2). Tasks were shared between PPs based on their competences and interest. Partnership structure was discussed and partners took decision about final list of PPs to be involved. Based on agreement, partnership structure was further developed by involving 22 associated organizations (including 8 public authorities, 6 regional labour offices, 5 business associations/ intermediaries).  Final development of Application Form was coordinated by LP based on input received from all partners and results from a preparatory survey.

WP1 Project management and coordination

WP1 aims to meet the following targets:
  • the achievement of project goals within time
  • the overall strategic and operational management of the project, ensuring the accuracy, quality and timelines of deliverables
  • the accurate financial and administrative management of the project, including the observation of relevant EU regulations and public procurement rules
  • the management of effective collaboration among partners, including the management of liaisons with EU Authorities and the production of periodic reports
  • the professional coordination of partners, including the control and documentation of activities and events.

A Transnational Advisory Board (TAB), consisting of regional level decision takers and senior officers of associated practice partners, will be implemented.

WP2 Communication, knowledge management and dissemination

Based on well-working information environment and targeted knowledge management, WP2 communicates project activities, outputs and results to relevant stakeholders (public authorities, intermediaries involved in labour market & training issues, migrants and their networks) on regional, national and EU level. WP2 makes thematic outputs from other WPs more visible in the CE area, also thanks to networking outreach of PPs. Aiming to have largest impact of the project outputs in CE, all 12 partners together with associated partners will be actively involved in WP2. In particular PP03 (IOM) will utilize its network of 125 members in Europe to disseminate project results. PPs representing a variety of actors working in field of migration and labor market in WP2 strive to close information gaps in field of return migration and knowledge development.

At project start, Communication Manager will develop a communication plan and draft an easy-to-understand Re-Turn project brochure in English. English version will be translated into project languages (CZ, DE, HU, IT, SI, PL). Once a year, 1 press release (translated in 7 languages) will accompany every second SC mtg. Final project results will be addressed at the final conference open to public held in month 35, accompanied with a transnational press conference. The website has a members’ area that will contain all internal project materials. The website's public section will be updated at least monthly with new documentation and interim project results. Also newsletters will be available for download and subscription.

Electronic newsletters will be mailed out transnationally to a wide spectrum of stakeholders in the area of labour migration. Newsletters will contain user specific sections for the project's target groups and give detailed information about the project's core outputs from WPs3-5. With a documentary targeting a wide audience from professionals in intermediaries and public authorities dealing with migration and labour market issues to education institutions, Re-Turn project starting point (return migration challenges) and results (services for returning migrants) will be demonstrated. The documentary will be shown at the final conference. Throughout the whole project life time, at regional level all partners will use regional and national media to spread and communicate Re-Turn activities and results.

WP3 Understanding needs and potentials of returning migrants and regional conditions for reintegration

WP3 will be divided in three stages.
  1. Building on existing knowledge and available quantitative data, we will map current remigration trends and present them in an online platform on national and regional level.
  2. A methodology for gathering qualitative information will be developed to obtain the knowledge about particular needs, expectations, experiences, potentials and qualifications of returned migrants and potentially returning migrants. For this qualitative approach we will access social networks and expat communities. We also attempt to find out how regional employers think about returning migrants to identify the potential to use them as innovative source for knowledge development and responding to shortage of qualified labour. Can returning migrants be that innovative source for economic development? We plan to gain this data through a comprehensive survey about business needs and experiences with return migrants. Also future monitoring will be enabled.
  3. Work with local and regional authorities as well as intermediaries who could offer services for returning migrants - either help them find jobs or help them start an own business.

The aim of WP3 is to provide an account of current national and regional framework conditions. We will actively involve decision makers within regional workshops, which will be organized to discuss the needs for improvement of current framework conditions on regional level. The qualitative approach will be linked to the main target groups (1) regional public authorities and labour market organizations, (2) intermediaries, (3) business associations, (4) migrant groups. The main activities within this work package will be conducted as desk research with comparison of the results of available data from participating nations, setting up surveys about migrants and business needs related to returning migrants, discussions with regional project groups and with target groups at international meetings.

The main expected output of this work package will be:

  1. comparative documentation of migration and re-migration processes in participating countries and regions
  2. identification of particular competences of returning migrants and problems to capitalize on these competences
  3. comparative overview of current framework conditions for the support of returning migrants.

All these results will form the basis for using potential benefits of return migration for regional knowledge development. The activities will be conducted with the participation of all partners and for all participating countries.

WP4 Tools, methods and service concepts for supporting capitalization of return migration

Joint working process and the results of WP 4 are consequently oriented to the common objectives of the Re-Turn Project. To reach these objectives methods and tools to re-attract former out migrants, to re-integrate migrants and to assist returning migrants for better regional and local economical development will be jointly developed, and tested together with the regional shareholder (emigrants, remigrants) and intermediaries/decision makers.

Firstly best practices/success stories of Tools and Methods, dealing with the problem of emigration, attraction of returning migrants and local/regional development/economical benefits will be identified and benchmarks described. To adapt best practice methods/tools and to develop new methods and tools for the pilot projects, intermediaries as key-initiators for supporting the success of Re-Turning will be involved in transnational workshops. Regional skill development training sessions (short- and long-term) for them are developed and rolled out.

For joint management and the involvement of regional decision makers in the pilot areas, a handbook will offer tools to promote migrants as a source to foster knowledge development. In the preparation phase of Re-Turn three different approaches have been identified. In the project involved are partners from regions with an ongoing emigration process, an internal migration process and a returning process of skilled employees. Therefore three different tools will be developed:

  1. Marketing and tools to re-attract former outmigrants to the region;
  2. One-Stop-Shops to re-integrate migrants to the benefit of the regional economy;
  3. Assisting returning migrants in becoming innovative transnational entrepreneurs.

Accordingly, 3 transnational task forces will be established, consisting of PPs involved in the 3 tools development. Different methods & tools will be adapted or new developed and firstly described as tool-concepts.

Afterwards local and regional working groups will be created to implement and test these methods and tools. In this process decision makers and stakeholders (emigrants, remigrants) are strictly involved. For the joint planning, developing and exchanging of experiences together with intermediaries, a transnational project seminar and a mid-term conference (also for regional decision takers from CE) will be organized. To get the correct information about the successful pilots and new tools/methods monitoring, new evaluation methods for lessons learnt from implementation will be developed and delivered in a manual. The tested pilots will be evaluated according to the new methods, and the positively evaluated pilots will be used for a comparative analysis to develop a sustainability concept as a handbook or manual.

WP5 Joint action plan to improve framework conditions for innovative migrants

WP5 develops a transnational strategy for reintegrating migrants who return to their home countries after having lived and worked abroad. The aim is to make use of their foreign workforce experience. Decision makers on regional level will be addressed to form effective regional task forces within the involved 8 regions to improve framework conditions for the integration of returning migrants (5.1.1). WP5 also seeks to set up a formalized international network of regional authorities'/labour offices' decision takers and senior officers from the 8 regions involved (5.1.2). This network also functions as transnational advisory group for the project and should accompany the implementation of Re-Turn with the goal to sign the Memorandum of Understanding. In addition, a high profile research advisory group provides essential background information and advice in this new field of activity (5.1.3). It consists of 1 representative of each of the 4 scientific PPs (LP, PP02, PP08, PP12). This research advisory group provides independent consultancy on remigration issues from within the project and can give support to regional decision makers. The international network of 8 regions’ decision takers (from regional public authorities, labour market organizations, intermediaries and business organizations) will sign a memorandum of understanding that includes policy recommendations and implementation guidance concerning return migration support measures. The memorandum will provide political backing for action plans in participating regions. These Regional Action Plans will help to improve the capitalization of returning migrants particular competence to the long-term benefit of regional knowledge development. A further result of WP5 will be strategy support for return migration policies in official regional documents on the basis of the transnational strategy and the memorandum.

In this way, WP5 actions help to implement tools, proceedings and services to improve framework conditions for returning migrants and help to make effective use of their work force within Central Europe. Furthermore it will show methods on how to use their obtained knowledge, experiences and language skills in order to increase the regional competitiveness. The exchange of best practices by the project partners shall help to show how employers can make use of the specific skills and abilities of returning migrants.