Western Balkan Diaspora — Untapped Potential and Global Asset for the Region

How can record highs in the emigration of qualified people from the Western Balkans be beneficial for the region and its prosperity and future growth?

Tapping into 6 million strong diaspora may offer some answers. Engaging with diaspora is critical not only to help consolidate the regional economic outlook, bring the latest cutting-edge technologies into the region and deepen know-how, but, even more importantly it can profoundly challenge current political narratives and help bring about much needed energy and change. Questions like “What are the experiences of the emigrants?”, “Under which conditions would they consider returning to the region?” and, ultimately, “What policies could bring a meaningful change in the medium term?” are just some to address.

My project will analyse emigration dynamics in the Western Balkans, with a particular focus on what the medium- to long-term prospects of it are, and what can be done at the policy level.

Alida Vracic

Alida Vračić is a political scientist and co/founder and executive director of think tank Populari, Western Balkans think tank specializing in the post-conflict state building processes democratization, good governance and migration. Ms. Vračić holds a Law degree from the University of Sarajevo and Karl-Franzens-Universitaet Graz, where she specialized in criminal proceeding law. She also holds M.Sc. in International public policy from University College London (UCL) and the Executive Education for non-government executives at Kennedy School of governance (Harvard). Prior to founding Populari, Alida worked for the State Court prosecutor’s team in Bosnia and at the Human Rights Commission within the Constitutional Court of Bosnia. She regularly presents her work at all major European capitals and has been cited as a regional expert in numerous Balkan and European media – The New York Times, The Economist, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der Standard, Reuters, Deutsche Welle – as well as North American news outlets.