Labour migration in the Western Balkans

Balkan Focus series

Policy Brief


Labour migration in the Western Balkans. Consequences for the region’s democratic life

Labour migration is a phenomenon that is rooted in the structural problems of Western Balkans societies, such as the high rate of youth unemployment, a poorly performing labour market and inadequate welfare systems. 

The phenomenon has severe repercussions not only on the quality of internal services, such as healthcare and highly qualified jobs, but also on the democratic stability of the countries analysed. 

This policy brief provides an overview of the causes and consequences of labour migration from the Western Balkans, concluding with recommendations for the region’s national governments and for the European institutions on how to address the problem jointly.

The Balkan Focus policy brief series, published in cooperation with Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI) and Karl Renner Institut, is realised in synergy with the Friends of the Western Balkans (FoWB) project. It provides the FoWB network with background analyses on current political developments in the Western Balkan countries, as well as on the debate and process of European enlargement. The policy briefs also factor in the outcome of the debate held by the FoWB members. Three more policy briefs will be published later this year.

Centro Studi di Politica Internazionale (CeSPI)
Karl Renner Institut
Related publications

Bosnia-Herzegovina. How to build a viable road to EU membership

Balkan Focus series

Montenegro’s political transition. From Djukanović to where?

Balkan Focus series

Is a new path to enlargement possible? A look at the proposals for staged accession

Balkan Focus series

Embracing the Western Balkan countries’ EU at present. A vital question mark for the EU

Balkan Focus series
Find all related publications

Growing remittance industry

Progressive Migration Group series

External influences in the Western Balkans: Where are we at?

Balkan Focus Series

Labour migration from the European periphery to the EU’s core


Labour migration in the Western Balkans

Balkan Focus series
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post

The Union’s identity is shared sovereignty


Irish unity – to be pursued with care


Europe’s revamping is underway

Find all related events
Vienna, Austria and Brussels, Belgium

European Political Academy


Call to Europe – The future is social

16 - 18/04/2024
FEPS HQ (Expert meeting)

Progressive visions for the future of EU enlargement 

Find all related news

FEPS celebrates 20 years of the biggest EU enlargement


Interview with Maria João Rodrigues on the need for EU treaty changes with Euronews


FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

NATO extension, Portuguese elections, far-right and gender equality were the topics of the debate

Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera awarded FEPS ‘Progressive Person of the Year’

Find all related in the media
In the media

A reform az európai parlamenti választás tétje

by Ujszo 14/05/2024
In this interview, FEPS Secretary-General László Andor discusses the 2024 European Parliament elections and current issues facing the EU

EU-VÍZIÓ, Dull Szabolcs újságíró Andor Lászlóval beszélget

by MÚOSZ Magyar Újságírók Országos Szövetsége 11/04/2024
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the EU great Eastern enlargement, FEPS Secretary General László Andor talks, in this video interview to the Hungarian Journalists' Association, the functioning of the Commission and its further development.

The EU pursues make-believe in Bosnia

by Financial Times 23/03/2024
Financial Times featured our policy brief 'Bosnia-Herzegovina', which analyses the journey of BiH's EU membership and the necessary reforms to make it happen

FEPS President on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

by Euronews 16/03/2024
FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues discusses NATO expansions and elections in Russia and Portugal on Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?‘