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Final Report Summary - MIGMEDCIS (The comparative analysis of the economic aspects of international migration: EU, Mediterranean, and CIS)

Migration is an international phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. It is no longer limited to only few areas of the world, with many new migration systems having established themselves over the last 20 years. These systems can be researched from the point of view of various academic disciplines. MIGMEDCIS project undertook an exchange of research experience between three institutions involved in researching migration in various geopolitical contexts and in various disciplinary perspectives: European University Institute in Florence (EUI), Charles University in Prague (CUNI), and People’s Friendship University in Moscow (PFUR).

The project took predominantly economic and socio-economic perspective. The team commenced its work from a clear standpoint: migration phenomena are similar across the world and there are many tools to investigate them that can be used successfully in various geographic areas. The Migration Policy Centre at the EUI has a long tradition of research on migration in the Mediterranean; CUNI focuses on the migration between Central Europe and CIS, while PFUR (RUDN) develops its expertise in migration in CIS. The most important objective of the project was building a common understanding of migration research across different academic cultures. Through promoting universal scientific approach, the project broke with popular micro-studies or case studies applying theories and tools to one geographical case only. Instead it will focus on commonalities across three migration systems:
- European Union – Mediterranean countries
- Russian Federation – Commonwealth of Independent States
- European Union – Commonwealth of Independent States
o EU-Russian Federation
o EU- other CIS

European Union and Russian Federation are centres of gravity for labour migrations in their respective migration systems. The peripheral areas in both cases can be characterized by low rates of economic development high corruption level, high unemployment level, significant share of shadow economy, and close clan ties that enhance propensity to enclave economy when migration occurs.
European Union is a centre of attraction for labour flows in two migration systems: EU-Mediterranean, and EU-Commonwealth of Independent States (including Russian Federation). During two last decades the Russian Federation became one of the leading recipient of incoming migration flows from the point of view of absolute number of migrants. It is the largest attracting centre of international migration following the USA.
All three migration systems have been a topic of scholarly research, but unfortunately there has been little exchange between the experts specializing in these themes. They have tended to work within the boundaries of specific geographic region and moreover: the language barrier made it quite difficult for EU experts to enter the rich academic work developed in the Russian speaking environment. The present project challenged the status quo.

Thus the goals to be achieved through the exchange were:
1. getting to know individuals working on similar issues in two research areas that do not talk to each other very often (EU migration scholars and CIS migration scholars)
2. lying down a common ground for possible future collaboration
3. creating an opportunity for young scholars to get acquainted with academic environment in EU/Russian Federation.

All the goals have been achieved. EUI and CUNI established a good working relationship with Prof. Sergiei Ryzantsev and his team, documented by two publications (“Russia and Kazakhstan in Eurasian Migration System: Development Trends, Socio-Economic Consequences of Migration and Approaches to Regulation”; “Economic impacts of the Chinese Diaspora in the Russian Federation”). Partners also established concrete research plans for the future, namely population forecasts and model projections for Russian Federation and Czech Republic and application of the replacement migration concept. This task was formulated in a format of an autonomous research project which will be completed within the follow-up activity in 2014. It is expected that the results of described research could be used within a process of demographic and migration policy measures formulation. All expected results will be presented with reference to the MIGMEDCIS project.

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