Forging Bonds with Emigrants: Challenges for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean

This document is based on the discussions which developed within the frameworkof the Seminar “Forging Bonds with Emigrants: Challenges for Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean”, organised by the EU-LAC Foundation, the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), which took place at the Senate of the city of Hamburg, Germany, on September 18th to 20th, 2017.

Current debates on the subject of migration in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean revolve around the challenges posed by the increase in migration flows and the integration of immigrants in the States receiving them (Migration Policy Institute 2016). Much less attention is paid to the fact that some countries of these regions are exemplary in terms of the policies they have developed towards their emigrants. To better understand the migratory phenomenon and identify possibilities for international cooperation in this area, it is essential to understand that all immigrants are also emigrants. It is therefore also fundamental to investigate the policies adopted by the countries of origin to create or maintain links with their communities of citizens residing abroad. This article offers insights to understand these policies from a comparative perspective, illustrating good practices and making recommendations to help academia, private stakeholders, civil society and policy-makers to improve these bonds. In addition to the institutional agents, the migrants in the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean are also principal stakeholders in the bi-regional relationship; their presence helps us to appreciate the relevance and necessity of the relationship between these regions and demonstrates the importance of a structured bi-regional dialogue on migration to resolve these challenges.