Youth Migration in the Danube Region and Local Self-Governments

Research leader

Research funder

EU, Interreg – Danube Transnational Programme, 2017–2019.

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Improving Institutional Capacities and Fostering Cooperation to Tackle the Impacts of Transnational Youth Migration (YOUMIG)




Support to local self-governments in utilising the development potential of youth migration in the Danube Region.


Youth migrations have been intensifying in the Danube Region and they represent a challenge for all government levels. The migrations have new drivers (such as online communication channels and new behavioural patterns) and serious developmental consequences.

Emigration of youth can cause serious losses in labour force and human capital, together with undetermined incoming transfers (social and financial remittances), while immigration, unless managed properly, may lead to marginalisation and insufficient utilisation of human resources.


The project is the result of work by 19 partners from 8 countries, on supporting local self-governments in utilising the development potential of youth migrations, which should lead to a better management in and improved competitiveness of the Danube Region. The goal of the project was strengthening of institutional capacities of local self-governments in order to improve the scarce local data concerning youth migration, thus contributing to an improved policy creation with the focus on human capital.

Statistical offices and research organisations partnered with local self-governments in this complex and adjusted transnational cooperation in order to create local development strategies based on improved indicators of youth migration impact. Additionally, they worked together on introducing transnationally tested tools for managing local challenges in the field.


The project contributed to better integration of science, statistics and public policies of Serbia into European space, via defined frameworks for coordinated action of all the institutions and communities in the Danube Region that send migrants, receive migrants, or are passed through by migrants.

It simultaneously contributed to building scientific and data-producing capacities through realisation of the project, as well as to the improved capacities of the Serbian institutions which manage migrations through the establishment of the database and the public policy tools to tackle the causes and consequences of emigration/immigration and management of returnees on the national and local level.

The most important results include: a) national recommendations for better cooperation between the institutions that monitor and manage youth migrations; b) local strategy to improve the management capacities and services concerning youth migration; c) the Stay, Work, Be Happy pilot activity implemented in the Municipality of Kanjiža.

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