This policy paper, produced by The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, provides an analysis of how the current health crisis has affected migration flows. Roughly 16% of the EaP population lives abroad, with Armenia (33%) and Moldova (28%) having the region’s largest emigrant populations. Approximately one-third of migrants have returned to their home countries due to pandemic, which exacerbated the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the region’s economies and labour markets: many affected households faced exposure to poverty, with returning workers having difficulties finding new jobs.
This paper recommends that EaP governments elaborate and ensure the implementation of a coherent and coordinated policy on migration to EU countries, saying they should develop professional programmes for returning migrants in industries with potential labour force shortages. Also, they should enhance circular migration programmes to safeguard the premises of ‘decent work’, to maximise the benefits of well-organised seasonal migration, and to protect migrants from exploitation in foreign labour markets.