The ERGEM case study Georgian Diaspora and Migrant Communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey – Transnational realities and ties with Georgia was launched by ICMPD on 2 May 2014 in Tbilisi at a special event at the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, in cooperation with the Office of the State Minister of Georgia on Diaspora Issues. Representatives from state institutions dealing with migration issues, research institutes and academia attended the event. The study presents an in-depth profile of the Georgian diaspora and migrant communities in Germany, Greece and Turkey and an analysis of the Georgian diaspora policy. It also offers recommendations on how Georgian state institutions can more effectively engage Georgian diaspora, as well as an outlook on likely trends concerning the Georgia diaspora. Mr Konstantine Surguladze, the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues, praised the publication for giving ‘a fuller picture of the Georgian diaspora residing in the three target countries, including their main features . . . their means of communication and all factors that would encourage them to contribute to the development of Georgia.’
According to the study, the profile of the Georgian diaspora in these three countries differs significantly, and these differences must be taken into account when formulating policies. Mr Surguladze acknowledged this, stating that ‘these differences show how necessary it is to implement individually designed initiatives and programmes for Georgian communities abroad.’ In all three countries, ties between Georgian migrants, diaspora individuals and Georgia are strong and are reinforced by diaspora organisations, which create bridges between Georgia and the residence country and promote the Georgian culture and language. Moreover, the study shows that the Georgian diaspora and Georgian migrants are willing to invest in various sectors in Georgia. They also can provide experience and skills gained abroad that could benefit Georgia, reflecting their potential to further the development of Georgia.
The study was carried out in the project ‘Enhancing the Role of Georgian Migrants at Home (ERGEM)’, which is project funded by the European Union and Turkey. It is being implemented under the leadership of the Danish Refugee Council in cooperation with ICMPD and a consortium that includes 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.