This article aims to describe the historical background of international ethnic migration in Central and Eastern Europe. The rise and fall of the Habsburg Empire in Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire in Southeastern Europe has been the underlying cause of many ethnic migration flows in Central and Eastern Europe in the post-communist era. Moreover, the German Ostkolonisation, border changes after the two World Wars, and interstate migration in the former Soviet Union caused a large pool of potential ethnic migrants. In addition to the description of this historical background, this article contains a description of important contemporary ethnic migration flows that originate from the aforementioned historical developments, and a discussion of future developments of ethnic migration in Central and Eastern Europe.