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At the present time, issues related to flows and movements of people – in all their forms – figure prominently among the most pressing, relevant and, often, divisive policy agendas in the Mediterranean region.
A comprehensive approach to migration is needed, taking into account its root causes as well as all related challenges and opportunities.
From this perspective, the World Bank & the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) are collaborating to draft a flagship report on “Migration and Human Capital Mobility” which will be presented at the World Bank’s 2021 Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco.
The report aims to cover a broad range of migration and mobility-related issues, in connection with their main drivers which fall under three levels: (a) macro (economic, social, demographic, political factors); micro (human capital, labor markets, natural capital, territorial triggers); and (c) meso (laws and regulations, bilateral agreements, diaspora, remittances). In addition, climate change is being considered as an “aggravating factor” which affects all three levels, and a pressing reality in the region.
The brainstorming workshop represented the first milestone in this process.
The primary purpose of this event was to identify thematic and innovative approaches to address some of the most pertinent and transversal issues in advancing the migration agenda in the Euro-Mediterranean region. The ideas gathered during the workshop are now being used to conceptualize the flagship.
A new positive narrative is emerging, focused on how regularized migration and human capital mobility can contribute to the development of the region while reducing the cost associated with irregular flows.
Proactive migration policies that internalize all interrelated macro, micro and meso factors, must be conceived as an integral part of any development strategy, in order to be effective.
Policy makers may have more leverage in focusing on education and labor market laws and regulations, as well as agreements between countries, while addressing remittances and financial transfers issues (the meso factors). In lieu of such proactive migration policies, given income and demographic disparities across both shores of the Mediterranean, irregular flows may continue to create tension and safety issues for both migrants and recipient countries.
At the same time, not tapping on the tremendous opportunities that human capital mobility offers for the development of the region would further delay its integration and catch up with the rest of the world.
The meeting brought together internationally-recognized experts from across the region (see attached), as well as senior World Bank staff with operational experience on the subject/in this area. It was chaired by Mr. Rabah Arezki, Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank.
Photos can be found on our Flickr account.