The South East Europe Programme of ELIAMEP, participated in the international conference “Migration in the Western Balkans – rethinking crisis narratives”, within the Migration, Integration and Governance Research Center project (MIGREC), that was held at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade, from February 2 to 3, 2023.

The conference was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Belgrade, Prof. Dragan R. Simić and Vice Dean for the 1st Cycle Studies and coordinator of the MIGREC project, Prof. Natalija Perišić.

Among the moderators, presenters and participants at the Conference were the leading academics, experts and researchers in the field of migration from all countries of the Western Balkans region, i.e. from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo*, North Macedonia and Croatia, as well as from other countries, United Kingdom, Greece, Poland, Italy and Turkey.

The field of ​​migration in the Western Balkan region is most often examined in the context of negative demographic changes, and the region itself is usually narrowly seen as a transit zone, a “sending” region and a region that represents migrants as a security threat. Contrary to this dominant perspective, the conference aimed at a different point of view on migration in the region. Conference participants presented the results of their scientific works and discussed how migration flows, processes, relationships and practices contribute to political, economic and social development within the region. Plenary speaker Prof. Russell King focused on the issues of the position of migration studies in contemporary conditions, while the second plenary speaker, Angeliki Dimitriadi, problematized the consequences of the New Act on Migration and Asylum for the countries of the Western Balkans.

The conference is organized around a panel on perspectives regarding migration in the Western Balkan countries, crisis framing of migration, violence and migration in post-conflict societies, transitions from regularity to irregularity in the field of migration, critical narratives and discourses about migrants, and re-examination of the concept of integration from experiences children and families of migrants.

Participants were able to exchange knowledge and experience, to network and discuss opportunities and challenges for improving research, policy and practice.

More information here.