Collapse of the socialist system was definitely a key event of the XX century for Central and Eastern Europe. It was accompanied by the enthusiasm and high aspirations of unity after the fall of the iron curtain for the people across Europe. The expectations and hopes of a bright future mitigated the shock that occurred from economic transition and massive waves of displaced people. The inclusion of the new independent states into the global and regional migration processes makes them a source and recipient of different groups of migrants (labor, education, asylum and so on). New 27 independent states and at least 5 unrecognized countries that emerged after the collapse of the socialist system, have specific relationships, both among themselves and with the EU.
Many CEE countries - former allies of the Soviet regime- turned in the direction of the European values. Others, torn by domestic turmoil and economic hardships have tried to capitalize their location «in between». Third group of countries, having their own resources tried to build indigenous models of the nation-state. That is why the migration processes in every country have been peculiar and sensitive to both Russian and the EU migration policies. Nevertheless, they revealed a great constancy of the main migration flows, directed from fSU states towards Russia as the former metropolis for the repatriation and labor migration reasons.
In the 2000s labor migration had softened the crisis of transition period for all post-soviet countries, however, it provoked emergence of new diasporas in both Russia and EU. fSU countries of “in between” group have been characterized by the massive migration flows towards both directions (EU and Russia). In addition to migration problems the transformation of identity became even more painful than the economic transition.
The EU strategy of enlargement was accompanied by the Eastern Neighborhood policy. The aim was to build a “circle of friends”. These two policies again changed the European migration space, increasing the mobility of the population from East to West. However, a greater migration control in relation to third countries nationals was established and it has further transformed migration flows between the EU and fSU countries. The division of some fSU countries towards a European-style democracy, put a cleavage between them and countries led by Russia. It has also split them politically into “us” and “them”. This decision was reflected in economic, political and migration regulations. It provoked conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and resulted in the new flows of refugees, IDP and labor migrants in different directions.
In addition to the economic crisis, the demographic crisis in majority of EU and fSU European countries formulated their competition for the labor resources. The ethnization of migration policy in the neighboring EU New Member States and Russia stimulated also additional flows of compatriots to these countries. However, the rapid growth of ethnic diversity induced by the new diasporas leads to a change in the political, economic and ethnic situation. Xenophobia (in particular Islamofobia) creates internal tensions in the host communities and requires new mechanisms for migration management in all recipient countries. Media and politicians contributed to migrantofobia to high degree in EU and fSU countries as well.
But the myth of the EU’s arrangement of visa-free travel continues to be a carrot for some fSU states. The small countries like Moldova and Georgia finally got their prize of free visa regime. But several European countries have already reimposed border controls to protect themselves from the flows of refugees and migrants. The EU “circle of friends” finally turned in to the zone of constant instability. The massive flows of refugees again become the problem for the European space. Every third fSU country faces unsolved ethnic conflicts, problems of refugees and IDP.
Both unions now have suffered from the similar sicknesses: refugee and demographic crisis, economic uncertainties, rise of migrantofobia, and lack of coherence among their member states and future prospects of interrelations should be an important issue for the European development.
Conference “Twenty five years later (1991–2016): between Soviet past and unclear European and Eurasian future”
Dates: 25-27 November 2016, Budapest
The confirmation for the selected abstracts will be by 30 July 2016.
The submission of papers up to 7 000 words have to be done by 1 November 2016.
Participation fee is 80 euro should be paid till 1st of September, but the participants from fSU countries and PhD students can ask for the reduction of conference fee to 40 euro.
The conference abstracts have to be send to Dr. Irina Molodikova: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Conference Programme
- Abstracts of participants
- Accommodation: list of hotels CEU has special relations
- Conference Venue