“CIRCMIGR - Improving circular migration between Belarus and Poland, Slovakia and Czechia”

Project description / General background:

The main aim of this project is to examine social and economic effects of circular migration between Belarus and Poland, Slovakia and Czechia. The project’s core question is how managing circular migration could, in the long-term, help to optimise labour resources in both country of origin and destinations countries, while protecting migrants’ rights. Migration flows between Belarus and Poland, Slovakia and Czechia include significant circular movement that is characterized by a repetitive legal back and forth mobility. Data for the mentioned V4 states indicate that the number of Belarussian citizens granted various forms of work permits has been constantly rising. Circular migration should be managed in a way to optimize labour markets at both ends. It has been identified that circular migration from Belarus contribute to ease current labour shortages in selected V4 states, and especially in services sector and industry. At this end concerns are raised around such issues as respect for migrants’ social and labour rights and efficient labour matching. On the opposite end, little is known about the impact of circular migration to Poland, Slovakia and Czechia on the Belarusian labour market and economy (e.g. investments from remittances and savings). Globally, studies on the issue are fragmentary and inconsistent.

Objectives of the project:

In order to make circular migration beneficial for all involved actors, we have to first understand how it works and what impacts it creates (overall goal). Such assessment would provide a reliable basis for policy-making, advocacy and action promoting orderly and well managed circular migration. To this end, CASE and its partners plan to develop a circular migration feasibility study (specific goal 1: to enhance knowledge base) based on the evidence gained to date and on the regional labour market and macroeconomic forecasts for all the involved countries. The study will include a development component and will try to find out whether circular migration from Belarus to the selected V4 states in its current form really endow Belarussians with new skills, provide for skills transfer and prevent brain drain, and whether it supports an investment-oriented use of remittances and savings. The study will include a set of policy recommendations on organising and managing circular migration and will be discussed with policy-makers at a dissemination event (specific goal 2: to promote knowledge). We would also like to promote orderly circular movements and support current mobility by providing essential pre-departure information. Thus, we would like to set up a simple website and produce a leaflet addressed to current and potential future migrants from Belarus describing main legal pathways to Poland, Slovakia and Czechia as well as their rights as labour migrants (specific goal 3: to inform migrants’ decisions).

Project leader: CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research

Project partners:  

CASE Belarus - Center for Social and Economic Research Belarus: www.case-belarus.eu

Institute for Politics and Society: www.politikaspolecnost.cz

Institute of Economic Research, SAS: www.ekonom.sav.sk

Youth Labour Rights: www.ylar.by

Project sponsor: International Visegrad Fund