In today’s globalised world we are witness to the fact that, as never before in history, diasporas have a major role in the political, ecoonomic, cultural, religious, social and sporting life of their countries of origin. The fact that over 244 million people live outside of their country of birth and that they send more than 600 billion dollars in remittances to their country of origion perhaps best illustrates the huge potential of diasporas for their home countries. While the major focus of diasporas and homeland is on their remittances their are many examples of how diasporas can and do through their various activities contribute to the advancement and success of their homelands both internally and in foreign affairs. One such example which illustrates the success of a diaspora in creating economic success in the homeland is that of Chilean immigrants who returned to their homeland at the call of then Chilean leader Pinochet. These returning immigrants brought their know-how and experience to practically empower in a short period of time the economic upturn of the Chilean economy.The recent world cup of football in Russia is another example of diaspora contributions to homeland. Many football teams had diaspora players as part of their starting lineups. The best example of this was the Croatian national team which played in the finals of the world cup and which had two thirds of its players born outside of Croatia. These examples not only manifest on the one hand the strength and power of diasporas, but on the other hand also evidence ita huge potential and role in the developmental strategy of their countries of origin. Following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, millions of citizens of Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, Croatia and other countries of the former Yugoslavia moved to the more developed countries of the democratic world, especially Europe.
Faced with this new process of emigration, these countries were faced with the task of developing national strategies and programs of cooperation between diaspora communities and their homelands. In light of this new situation and the relations between diaspora and homeland, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 2015 accepted Resolutioon 2043 titled Democratic participation for Migrant diasporas. Among other things this resolution recommended that its members introduce policies which would facilitate diaspora members’ involvement in political life, review national legislation with a view to granting special status to members of diasporas in their countries of origin and facilitating the return process where appropriate, and promote diaspora members’ contribution to the development of their country of origin through the transffer of their knowledge, education and experience.
The main focus of the conference is to examine the strategies and programs of individual countries towards their diasporas and in turn the relationships of diaspora with their home countries.
Conference themes include:
1. Diaspora relations – government
2. State policy and practice relating to the diaspora
3. The return of emigrants and their integration into the country of origin – success or failure
4. Direct investments of the diaspora
5. The influence of the diaspora on the country of origin or country of origin
6. Immigrant tourism
7. Diaspora in international relations
8. Diaspora as a safety factor
9. Diaspora – media, radio programs, newspapers and publications
10. Emigrant literature