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EU Mobilitaetspartnerschaft Georgien
Georgia: managing mobility and migration to drive development. Foto: CIM/Wacho Kuntsev-Gabashvili

Georgia: managing mobility and migration to drive development

Through a pilot project, CIM is supporting Georgia in implementing its mobility partnership with the EU and leveraging migration for sustainable development.

Georgia has a population of 4.5 million, but it is estimated that up to one in four Georgians lives outside the country. However, only six per cent of them want to remain abroad permanently. In total, over 40% of Georgians would like to spend limited time living abroad. Obtaining a foreign degree, gaining professional experience or  participate in continued education abroad can considerably boost their job prospects at home. And the country benefits too: innovative business ideas from abroad and a well-qualified workforce are key to economic growth. In hospitality and healthcare, for example, there is a demand for applicants that have attained essential qualifications and practical experience, can demonstrate professionalism and have the relevant foreign language skills. New knowledge can lead to positive and lasting changes – both for the economy and for society at large. This calls for effective migration management.

The project
Georgia wants to move closer to the European Union. In 2009, the South Caucasian country entered into a mobility partnership with the EU, an important step in making the most of the opportunities offered by migration. In the frame of this mobility partnership the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM) is  implementing the pilot project ‘Strengthening the development potential of the EU mobility partnership in Georgia through targeted circular migration and diaspora mobilisation’ on behalf of the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project between Germany and Georgia is testing ways of using migration more effectively to drive development in Georgia . It is running from May 2013 until May 2016.

The approaches

  • Diaspora mobilisation: Targeted support for up to 45 Georgians who, following their stay in Germany, want to return to Georgia to seek skilled work or become self-employed
  • Circular migration: Placement of up to 40 skilled Georgians who want to work in the German hospitality or healthcare sector in order to develop their professional skills; supporting them on their return to Georgia
  • Policy advice to Georgia’s State Commission on Migration Issues  and other Georgian state institutions dealing with migration issues

The partners – local and international knowledge
CIM has many years of experience in international labour mobility. For two decades now, its Returning Experts Programme has been supporting people from developing and emerging countries who have studied and are working in Germany and who want to return to their country of origin and use their expertise to contribute to their country’s development. CIM also supports governments in managing migration in a positive way that benefits all parties and promotes sustainable development. It is implementing the pilot project with two local partners: the Public Service Development Agency (PSDA) and the Georgian Small and Medium Enterprises Association (GSMEA). This combination of international and local expertise gives the project a firm foundation for achieving successful and sustainable results.

The benefits

The pilot project aims to ensure that all participants benefit from its activities:

  • The migrants themselves gain valuable personal and professional experience in Germany and receive support when they go back to Georgia either to work for a company as a ‘returning expert’ or to set up their own business
  • The German labour market benefits from skilled Georgian workers who bridge gaps in areas of the healthcare and hospitality sectors with a skills shortage
  • Georgia gains new knowledge and skilled human resources, strengthening its labour market and boosting its economy. In addition, Georgian migration policy-makers receive support in managing labour migration in a way that promotes development and responds to the needs of migrants