«Enhancing the Role of Georgian Migrants at Home (ERGEM) Project Georgian Diaspora and Migrant Communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey Transnational ...»
This project is funded by
the European Union
Enhancing the Role of Georgian Migrants at Home (ERGEM) Project
Georgian Diaspora and Migrant
Communities in Germany, Greece and
Transnational realities and ties with Georgia
Georgian Diaspora and Migrant Communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey
Transnational realities and ties with Georgia
Prepared by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Vienna - Austria
Funded by the European Union
International Centre for Migration Policy Development • April 2014 ISBN: 978-3-902880-25-3 Executive Summary The objective of this study was to assess different and specific needs of Georgian migrant and diaspora* communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey, as well as these communities’ interest and potential to engage in transnational development activities for the benefit of the country of current residence and Georgia. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods has been applied to shed light on the characteristics of the heterogeneous Georgian diaspora.
The study has confirmed that the profile of the Georgian diaspora in these three countries differs. Therefore, this needs to be taken into account when formulating policy responses.
Migration to Germany is mostly well organised and regular. Georgian citizens migrate there largely for educational purposes, with many young professionals arriving through formal study and employment programmes (e.g. au pair programmes).
Most migrants in Greece are predominantly female and engage in domestic work. It is a destination for older and less educated migrants (compared to migrants in Germany) who often find themselves in an irregular status and find it difficult to adapt to the country and are, therefore, often socially excluded.
Turkey is a convenient location for temporary labour migration, as Georgian migrants benefit from a visa-free regime there. Similar to Greece, it is a destination for female domestic migrant workers (housekeepers, caretakers, nannies, etc.), but it is also attractive for migrants seeking seasonal work on tea and hazelnut plantations, in factories, etc. and physical labour in construction, privately-owned workshops, etc.
In all three countries, ties between Georgian migrants, diaspora individuals and Georgia are strong, as shown by the general lack of interest in obtaining the citizenship of the country of residence, the wish to return home and the frequency of home visits. These ties are reinforced by diaspora organisations, which create bridges between Georgia and the residence country and promote the Georgian culture and language. The large majority of Georgian migrants, in particular those who have children in Georgia, send remittances, which are mainly used for investments in farm equipment, health and education. Survey respondents are generally willing to invest in private sector activities and development activities in Georgia. The educational level among Georgian migrants is relatively high. Survey respondents consider the experience and skills they gained during their period abroad as useful for Georgia. This suggests that involving Georgian migrants and diaspora members in development activities, especially activities involving the transfer of their knowledge and skills, would greatly benefit Georgia and its society. However, brain waste seems to be a common issue among Georgian migrants in the three countries, as most considers themselves to be working below their level of qualification.
In response to having identified a certain lack of trust between the migrants, diaspora individuals and organisations, Georgian state institutions and representations abroad, the study makes several recommendations for improving relations, supporting Georgian migrants during their stay abroad and increasing their potential as development
a) Improve information collection and analysis for the design of better policies to protect Georgian migrant and diaspora communities abroad through enhanced coordination capacities of the State Diaspora Office, assessments of Georgian migrants’ and diaspora individuals’ needs, better contacts with state institutions in the main destination countries, establishing clear reporting lines on information exchange between involved Georgian state organisations and better cooperation between consular representations abroad and the MFA Consular Department in Tbilisi.
b) Enhance the provision of better services and information for Georgian migrant and diaspora communities abroad, in particular in the areas of employment abroad and recognition of qualifications, return and reintegration, and support active diaspora organisations.
c) Unleash the development potential of migrant and diaspora organisations through targeted support and *The term ‘diaspora’ is used throughout the study for the sake of convenience. It comprises all Georgian migrant communities, including the Georgian historical diaspora, temporary and circular migrants, emigrants, expatriates, and Georgians who took on another citizenship and who were naturalised in their country of destination.
funding for diaspora organisations; establish contact and communication with cities and local authorities in areas where Georgian migrants and diaspora communities reside to find common solutions on how to better support diaspora organisations; promote cooperation between civil society organisations and local authorities in Georgia; facilitate a regular dialogue between Georgian diaspora organisations, the Diaspora Office and the Georgian representations abroad; and support Georgian diaspora business start-ups.
The study was carried out within the ‘Enhancing the Role of Georgian Migrants at Home (ERGEM)’ project funded by the European Union’s Thematic Programme for Cooperation with Third Countries in the Areas of Migration and Asylum and by Turkey. The project is being implemented under the leadership of the Danish Refugee Council in cooperation with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and a consortium of project partners and associated partners which includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, the Ministry of the Interior of Poland, the Public Service Development Agency (Ministry of Justice of Georgia), the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues and the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia.
Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge the invaluable information and assistance provided by the Georgian state institutions working in the area of migration, the Georgian consulates and representations in Germany, Greece and Turkey, the approached Georgian diaspora organisations and individual migrants in Germany, Greece and Turkey, the family members of Georgian migrants, and the human rights and migration organisations in the researched countries. In particular, we would like to thank the Bielefeld German-Georgian Society, the Brandenburgisch-Georgische Gesellschaft e.V., the Georgian Culture House – Chveneburi, the Georgisches Haus in Berlin e.V., the Georgian Counselling Centre in Athens, the Georgian-Greek Cultural Association, the Georgian Institute of Athens and the Georgian Sports and Cultural Association – “Georgia” that responded to our cooperation request and significantly contributed to this study. Finally, we would like to thank the European Commission and the Member States of the European Union for supporting and funding the ERGEM project.
International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) Gonzagagasse 1 A-1010 Vienna Austria www.icmpd.org International Centre for Migration Policy Development Austria, 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission of the copyright owners.
This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication is the sole responsibility of ICMPD and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the donor.
Printed and bound in Austria by Ost West Media ISBN: 978-3-902880-25-3 Authors This case study is based on the research carried out within the EU-funded ERGEM project. The team of authors listed below (in alphabetical order) significantly contributed to the development of the research instruments, the field work carried out, the initiation of contact with diaspora organisations and individual migrants in the researched countries, as well as with migrants’ family members in Georgia, and the drafting and editing of the study.
International Centre for Migration Policy Development:
Keti Gorgoshidze, ERGEM Junior Project Officer, completed a Master’s in Development Studies at Lund University, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology at Tbilisi State University. She has experience in working on migration issues in state institutions and NGOs. She joined ICMPD in 2013.
Marion Noack, ERGEM Project Officer, studied international development at the University of Vienna. Since 2011 she has worked for the Competence Centre for Migration and Development at ICMPD and has been involved in projects and research studies on environmentally induced migration, migration and development policies, and migrant and diaspora organisations.
Xenia Pilipenko, ERGEM Junior Project Officer, studied global history at the London School of Economics and the University of Vienna. She has worked for ICMPD since 2011 on projects in Moldova and Georgia, on government-academia relations and diaspora relations.
Magda Sabadello, ERGEM Project Assistant, has degrees in peace and conflict studies from the European Peace University in Austria. She has worked for ICMPD since March 2014 on various projects implemented by the Competence Centre for Migration and Development and the Competence Centre for Legal Migration and Integration.
Violeta Wagner, ERGEM Project Manager, has an international law background and more than 10 years of practical experience in working for state administration in the area of migration. She has worked for ICMPD since 2010 and since 2011 she has managed migration-related projects in Georgia.
Gvantsa Abesadze, Secretary for Legal Support at the Secretariat of State Commission on Migration Issues, Ministry of Justice of Georgia, has a practical and educational background in law and more than nine years of practical experience in managerial positions at the Public Service Development Agency’s different departments.
Nino Gachechiladze, of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, studied at Tbilisi State University at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences. She has been working at the Consular Department since 2010.
Mariam Keburia, Coordinator for International Relations at the State Minister’s Office on Diaspora Issues, has experience in working with international organisations in the field of migration. She has worked for the Office of the State Minister on Diaspora Issues since 2012.
Table of Contents List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Acronyms
Section I. Study on Georgian Diaspora and Migrant Communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey
2. Methodological Approach
2.1. Research questions
2.2. Research design
2.3. Profile of the survey respondents
3. The Georgian Diaspora Policy
3.1. Governmental institutions involved in the development and implementation of the Georgian policy towards its diaspora and migrants abroad
3.2. Collection of information on Georgian migrants abroad
3.3. Methods and tools for communication with Georgians abroad
3.4. Inter-institutional coordination on diaspora issues
3.5. Development needs in Georgia and potential for diaspora engagement.................23
3.6. Pre-departure initiatives and assistance provided to returnees
4. The Profile of the Georgian Diaspora in Germany, Greece and Turkey
4.2. Size of the Georgian diaspora population in the three residence countries.............25
4.3. Socio-demographic profile
4.4. Types of migration
4.5. Situation of Georgian migrants
4.6. Transnational activities of Georgians living abroad
4.6.1. Ties with Georgia
4.6.2. Georgian diaspora organisations
4.6.3. Potential of the Georgian diaspora to contribute to development in Georgia...36
6. Outlook and Recommendations
Section II: Country Chapters
7. The Georgian Diaspora in Germany
7.2. Profile of the Georgian diaspora in Germany
7.2.1. Size and location of the Georgian diaspora population in Germany.................47 7.2.2. Socio-demographic profile
7.2.3. Types of migration, causes and motives
7.2.4. Situation of Georgian migrants in Germany
7.3. Transnational activities of Georgians residing in Germany
7.3.1. Ties between the Georgians residing in Germany and Georgia
7.3.2. Organisations of the Georgian diaspora in Germany
7.3.3. Potential of the Georgian diaspora residing in Germany to contribute to development in Georgia
8. The Georgian Diaspora in Greece
8.2. Profile of the Georgian diaspora
8.2.1. Size and location of the Georgian diaspora population
8.2.2. Socio-demographic profile
8.2.3. Types of migration, causes and motives
8.2.4. Situation of Georgian migrants in Greece
8.3. Transnational activities of Georgians residing in Greece
8.3.1. Ties between Georgians residing in Greece and Georgia
8.3.2. Organisations of the Georgian diaspora
8.3.3. Potential of the Georgian diaspora residing in Greece to contribute to development in Georgia
9. The Georgian Diaspora in Turkey
9.2. Profile of the Georgian diaspora
9.2.1. Size and location of the Georgian diaspora population
9.2.2. Socio-demographic profile
9.2.3. Types of migration, causes and motives