Enhancing the Role of Georgian Emigrants at Home (ERGEM)

Objective: The project "Enhancing the Role of the Georgian Emigrants at Home (ERGEM)"; contributed to strengthening the ties between Georgians abroad and Georgian institutions in order to increase diaspora contributions to Georgia's economic development.

Summary: The activities of the project were implemented in three consecutive phases (inception, implementation and closing) and under three complementary components: 1) collection and analysis of information, 2) services to diaspora abroad and 3) services in Georgia. Facebook page
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Implementing Agency: Danish Refugee Council in cooperation with ICMPD as implementing partner

Partners: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Public Service development Agency, Ministry of Justice of Georgia, Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues, Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia, and the Ministry of the Interior of Poland

Donors: European Union, Danish Refugee Council and project partner

Duration: April 2013December 2014

Country: Georgia

 

Conference highlights the ERGEM project’s success in strengthening relations between the Georgian diaspora and Georgian institutions

The final activity of the project 'Enhancing the Role of the Georgian Emigrants at Home' (ERGEM), the Diaspora Conference, took place on 16 December 2014 in Tbilisi, Georgia. The conference gathered representatives of all project partners from the government, diaspora representatives, returnees, a prominent diaspora expert, as well as representatives from NGOs, civil society, the EU Delegation to Georgia and international organisations. During the conference, the participants discussed the project's results and further cooperation between diaspora and state institutions. The Georgian diaspora organisations representatives also presented the activities they are currently carrying out to engage Georgians abroad and a keynote speech was delivered on diaspora engagement by a prominent expert. Most importantly, the ERGEM Guide on Organising Mobile Counselling for Migrants and Diaspora Members was presented and distributed to the conference attendees.

The ERGEM project was implemented from April 2013 to December 2014 by the Danish Refugee Council in cooperation with ICMPD. Its main purpose was to strengthen ties between Georgians abroad and Georgian institutions in order to increase diaspora contributions to Georgia's economic development. More information on the project can be found here.

For photos from the conference, please visit the official Facebook page of the ERGEM project.

 

New publication guides government officials in organising counselling for migrants and diaspora members

The publication, titled Guide on Organising Mobile Counselling for Migrants and Diaspora Members, is the final outcome of the project ‘Enhancing the Role of Georgian Migrants at Home’ (ERGEM). The step-by-step instructions on each phase of a counselling event (planning, holding and evaluating) makes this guide an excellent tool for state institutions in charge of reaching out to migrants and diaspora members from their country.

In holding such events, state representatives are able to better provide services and information to their migrant and diaspora communities abroad. The guide not only assists state representatives in organising these events, but also in improving how they collect and analyse data on their migrant and diaspora communities abroad, thus enabling them to design better policies to protect these communities and engage them in the development of their country of origin.

The guide is based on information from the ERGEM case study and two study visits of Georgian state institution representatives to Poland and Portugal, as well as on the lessons learned from the successful implementation of the ERGEM counselling events in Germany, Greece and Turkey. The ERGEM project was implemented under the leadership of the Danish Refugee Council in cooperation with ICMPD and a consortium that included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, the Ministry of the Interior of Poland, the Public Service Development Agency (Ministry of Justice of Georgia), the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues and the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia.

The publication can be downloaded in English and in Georgian. More information about the ERGEM project can be found here.

 

Third ERGEM Information Day

Our third and last ERGEM information day took place in Istanbul on 6 July 2014. More than 50 people came to the Georgian restaurant Galata House where the event was held. Representatives from Georgian state institutions participating in the event provided consultations for Georgian migrants in Istanbul on relevant topics such as diaspora support, business, return and reintegration support, and double citizenship. The consultations were well received by the participants. In addition to the consultations, the ERGEM team also organised a tasting of Georgian food. The ERGEM project team thanks all participants for coming to the event! We also want to thank all the participating institutions and representatives for being an integral part of the ERGEM project and contributing so much to its success. We hope to come back to Istanbul soon! Photos from the event can be found here. More information on the ERGEM project can be found here.

 

Second ERGEM Information Day

The second ERGEM information day took place in Berlin on 22 June 2014. More than 50 people came to the Georgian Consulate where the event was held. Representatives from Georgian state institutions participating in the event provided consultations for Georgian migrants in Berlin on relevant topics such as citizenship, visas, tourism, business and start-ups, education, driver’s licenses, etc. In addition to the consultations, the information day also featured live music by a German choir who sang Georgian songs and a variety of Georgian food. Both the consultations and the small concert were well received by those that attended the event. The ERGEM project team thanks all participants for coming to the event! We are very much looking forward to the next event in Istanbul and hope to come back to Athens and Berlin soon! Photos from the event can be found here.http://bit.ly/1pEQeBJ

 

First ERGEM Information Day

The first ERGEM information day took place in Athens on 1 June 2014. About 200 people came to celebrate Georgian culture. There was dancing, singing, enjoying Georgian food and talking about Georgia. But not only this: the representatives from Georgian state institutions participating in the event also provided consultations for Georgian migrants in Athens on relevant topics such as registration, diplomas, official documents, business, return and reintegration, etc. The ERGEM project team thanks all participants for being with them! They are looking forward to similar events in Berlin and Istanbul and hope to come back to Athens too!  Photos from the event can be found here.

 

Study visit introduces participants to Portugal's migration policy

The ERGEM Team, together with the representatives of Georgian state institutions involved in migration management, and in close cooperation with the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service SEF, conducted a study visit to Portugal from 7 to 11 April 2014. The main aim of the study visit was to familiarise participants with the Portuguese migration policy, immigration and border services, consular protection, emigration research, etc., with a special emphasis on migrant and diaspora relations. Furthermore, participants had the opportunity to further build on developed content for the upcoming information days within the ERGEM project in Germany, Greece and Turkey in June and July. The study visit was an overall success and was received very positively by all counterparts.

Photos from the study visit can be found here.

 

Georgian state institutions learn about Poland's migration policy during study visit

The ERGEM Team, together with representatives of the Georgian state institutions involved in migration management and in close cooperation with the Polish Ministry of Interior, conducted a study visit to Warsaw, Poland, from 10 to 14 March 2014. The main aim of the study visit was to familiarise participants with Poland's migration policy, with a special emphasis on diaspora relations. Furthermore, participants had the opportunity to develop content for the upcoming information days (organised by the ERGEM project) in three target countries. The study visit was an overall success and was received very positively by all counterparts.

Photos from the study visit can be found here.

 

Fact-finding mission to Athens provides information on Georgian migrants living in Greece

The ERGEM team, together with representatives of the Georgian MFA, the Diaspora Office and Public Service Development Agency, conducted a fact-finding mission to Athens from 14 to 17 December 2013. The aim of the mission was to gather information on Georgian migrants living in Greece by distributing the ERGEM questionnaire and carrying out interviews with representatives of Georgian diaspora organisations, a representative of the consular department, NGOs and in international organisations in Berlin. In addition, the ERGEM team organised a focus group discussion bringing together Georgian diaspora organisations and Georgian state institutions in order to discuss their needs, wishes and recommendations for cooperation and engagement. The mission was received very positively by all counterparts. Photos from the mission can be found here.

 

ERGEM conducts fact-finding mission to Berlin

The ERGEM team, together with representatives of the Georgian MFA, the Diaspora Office and Public Service Development Agency, conducted a fact-finding mission to Berlin from 23 to 26 November 2013. The aim of the mission was to gather information on Georgian migrants living in Germany by distributing the ERGEM questionnaire and carrying out interviews with representatives of Georgian diaspora organisations, a representative of the consular department, NGOs and international organisations in Berlin. In addition, the ERGEM team held a focus-group discussion bringing together Georgian diaspora organisations and Georgian state institutions in order to discuss their needs, wishes and recommendations for cooperation and engagement. Photos from the mission can be found here.

 

ERGEM conducts fact-finding mission to Istanbul

The ERGEM team, together with representatives of the Georgian MFA and Public Service Development Agency, conducted a fact-finding mission to Istanbul from 25 November 2013. The aim of the mission was to gather information on Georgian migrants in Turkey by distributing the ERGEM questionnaire and carrying out interviews with representatives of Georgian diaspora organisations, a representative of the consular department, NGOs and international organisations in Turkey. In addition, the ERGEM team organised a focus-group discussion bringing together Georgian diaspora organisations and Georgian state institutions in order to discuss their needs, wishes and recommendations for cooperation and engagement. Photos from the mission can be downloaded here.

 

Conference kicks off diaspora project in Georgia

The project will provide valuable information about Georgian migrants and strengthen the ties between Georgians abroad and Georgian institutions, allowing all project partners to better engage Georgian diaspora for development in Georgia. The Kick-Off Conference of the project "Enhancing the Role of Georgian Emigrants at Home (ERGEM)" took place in Tbilisi, Georgia, on 20 September 2013. The list of participants included i.a. representatives from Georgian state institutions working in the field of migration, the Turkish MFA, the EU Delegation to Georgia and local non-governmental organisations.

The conference highlighted the project's achievements of the past few months, including two workshops on business development in Georgia organised by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and three case studies of Georgian migrants in Germany, Greece and Turkey. The latter were prepared by ICMPD as a conference paper that provided background information, data and hypotheses. The conference attracted the attention of several local media outlets, reflecting the significance of the topic in Georgia and the high interest in the project.

The project is being implemented by the DRC and ICMPD and will run until October 2014. More information about the project can be found here. Photos from the conference can be accessed here.

Meeting Minutes: en ge

Presentations:

DRC ERGEM Objectives
ICMPD Hypotheses
ICMPD Research Tools
DRC Business Priority Sectors  

 

ERGEM Case Study

Georgian Diaspora and Migrant Communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey Transnational realities and ties with Georgia  en ge

 

ERGEM Guide

Guide on Organising Mobile Counselling for Migrants and Diaspora Members en ge