Registrations are open for the webinar ‘Migration and the Green Economy: from the big picture to tangible partnerships’ on 21 April at 3pm CET (Brussels time). The webinar will present opportunities for migrants and diaspora members to engage in the transition to the green economy based upon research conducted by the EU Global Diaspora Facility (EUDiF) and MIEUX+ and activities from the Migration Partnership Facility (MPF).

The webinar will be in English with interpretation in French and moderated by ICMPD staff with participation from the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA). The preliminary list of speakers includes:

  • Stephen Adaween Assistant Professor, University of Groningen (Netherlands) and Associate Researcher, German Development Institute (Bonn, Germany)
  • Guillaume Quelin, Climate Change Project Manager, Groupe de Recherche et d’Echange Technologique (GRET)
  • Diana Stefanescu, Project Specialist – Labour Migration, Migration Partnership Facility

Exploring links between migration and green economy

Migrants and the diaspora should be considered as relevant actors of the green economy. In their role as drivers of development, entrepreneurship and innovation, they offer huge potential to the green transformation in Europe as well as in partner countries. EUDiF and MIEUX+ initiated research on these topics in 2021 with the aim to better identify entry points and actionable recommendations directed at key stakeholders such as the EU institutions, partner countries, diaspora/migrant communities, and the private sector and will now present some preliminary results during the webinar.

In 2021, MIEUX+ coordinated the High-level Panel ‘Human capital and mobility at the service of the green economy’ during the European Development Days and EUDiF devoted Day 2 of the Future Forum to the topic of diaspora and green economy. These events spurred further research projects.

The forthcoming MIEUX+ discussion paper will analyse major trends and key discussions, in the context of the Green Deal in the European Union and in the 2030 Agenda with its possible linkages to labour mobility/legal migration (talent partnerships, skills partnerships, greening jobs and skills, etc), spotlighting where current gaps exist in these policy areas. The discussion paper offers several areas for further research to develop.

The EUDiF research project sought to understand better the multifaceted engagement of the diaspora in the green economy and to propose concrete avenues for engagement in this sector whilst focusing on the waste management and renewable energies sector in Haiti, Togo and Vietnam. There will be further technical assistance interventions that will kick-start during 2022 in this area.

Additionally, the Migration Partnership Facility (MPF) will present a pilot project between the Governments of Spain and Morocco that it has been funding since 2019. This pilot can serve as inspiration for other EU MS and partner countries to collaborate on skills partnerships in the areas of green economy.

Green economy as a new growth strategy

The green economy was conceptualised in the 1990s and put on the international agenda at the Earth Summit, Rio+20, in 2012. It is defined as "an economy that leads to improved human well-being and social equity while significantly reducing environmental risks and resource scarcity". Furthermore, the implementation of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement has become a major objective for the European Commission. The Green Deal adopted in 2019 puts the climate and the green economy at the heart of European priorities, both in internal and in external partnership policies.

Today, this concept is reflected in national development strategies as well as in a series of new legislative proposals and tools published in 2019 and 2020 ushering in a new era for the EU and partner countries in these areas. For example, the new European Skills Agenda calls for a paradigm change on skills and to improve legal pathways and skills matching between EU and other regions of the world while the EU Talent Partnerships will serve as a framework of cooperation with partner countries to boost international labour mobility.

Now is the time to act on migration and green economy

Additionally, the so-called ‘twin transformation’ – revolving around the ‘green’ and ‘digital’ transitions will a have huge impact on labour markets, labour force demand, human mobility and skills in the coming years. It is precisely why it is timely to explore linkages and entry points for the policy makers and practitioners who will be designing programmes and strategies as well as for the academics to unearth new areas of research. Join MIEUX+ and EUDiF for the 90-minute webinar by registering online and share the link with your networks!