First Regional Diaspora Forum on 24 February 2022

Regional Diaspora Forum

The first Regional Diaspora Forum will be held on 24 February 2022 in hybrid form, in Belgrade and online.

The Western Balkans' diaspora has the potential to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, assist efforts in attracting foreign direct investments, and boost economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.

According to Eurostat, the total number of first permits issued to the citizens of the Western Balkans in the EU28 between 2010 and 2019 amounted to 1,552,013.

In 2020 only, 164.382 citizens from the Western Balkans have received first residence permits in EU countries for foreigners

Many of these emigrants are highly skilled and highly educated individuals.

The diaspora's potential has been mostly viewed through the lens of annual remittances.  The World Bank estimates that net remittance inflows to the region’s GDP (estimates for 2020) amounted to around 7%.

However, the diaspora can contribute back to their home communities in various ways.

What is the Regional Diaspora Forum?

The Regional Diaspora Forum is a regional awareness-raising event designed to promote the importance of diaspora among a wider group of stakeholders.

The event is a part of a Regional Diaspora Knowledge Transfer Initiative introduced in 2021 under the “Regional Innovation Area” of the Common Regional Market Action Plan (2021-2024).

A Regional Diaspora Knowledge Transfer Initiative aims to identify and mobilise the diaspora’s knowledge, skills and networks of contacts.

According to Prespa, a regional database of investment incentives has been developed and laid down conditions for the initiation of a Regional Diaspora Knowledge Transfer Initiative.

Regional Diaspora Knowledge Transfer Initiative aims to tap into the enormous potential of the region’s diaspora, with a focus on the diasporans residing in the EU Member States.