May
2015
Thematic Working Groups
Integration issues in host communities
Regions
Africa
Applicable countries
Croatia
Kosovo
Abstract:

KNOMAD Thematic Working Group Integration Issues in Host Communities organized the roundtable Return Migration and Re-integration into Croatia and Kosovo in Zagreb, Croatia, on May 11th and 12th, 2015, which was hosted by the Croatian Heritage Foundation. Over twenty presenters and discussants from Kosovo and Croatia, as well as other audiences with a stake in migration and reintegration management participated in the roundtable.

The specific issues to be explored were left open for participants' consideration, in view of their own experiences as émigrés, researchers, or as policy makers in the two countries. The goal was to probe the project's hypothesis that return migration and homeland reintegration promote de-velopment through the transfer of enhanced human and social capital that migrants commonly acquire in their host society integration. Underscoring this hypothesis is the idea that economic development has its roots in human activity and cooperation; that is, it builds on human and so-cial capital and on their interaction for productive purposes. This understanding raises the rele-vance of migrants' integration in host societies and their reintegration in homelands as develop-ment factors in an era of continuous mobility.

Given the above-mentioned understanding, the roundtable discussions centered on the following question: What should governments, businesses, and other sectors do to advance the develop-ment potential inherent in migration? In particular, the onus was on how policy in the homeland can facilitate the transfer of émigrés' enhanced human capital. Previous exchanges by this KNOMAD Thematic Working Group with stakeholders1 had revealed that, in order to yield de-velopment benefits, return migration and reintegration requires active management, along the same lines that integration does. So, the conversation in Zagreb was held with the goal to see what works well, what does not, and what lessons other countries can learn from the experience of Croatia and Kosovo.