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High-skilled economic migration: a case study from Moldova and Romania

Open Panel

Abstract

Moldova is one of the poorest European countries. Nevertheless, as an EU neighbor, it deserves a special attention. The brain drain is one of the countries’ major problems, which gained on intensity in the last 10 years. The massive emigration for economic reasons is amplified by the political instability in the country. It is well known that Moldova and Romania have special bilateral relations, given the fact that ethnically the populations of these two countries are very close, some may say even identical. Several years ago Romania offered Moldovan citizens the possibility to regain the citizenship of Romania (under certain conditions, which are not difficult to meet). The main goal of the paper is to study how this fact influenced the high-skilled immigration from Moldova towards Romania and other EU countries and to estimate social cost of this kind of exodus. The problem is multiplied by the special attitude of Romania towards its eastern neighbor is the number of scholarships offered to students from Moldova. The paper aims to seek what is the conceptual solution for the brain-drain in Moldova and how the Moldo-Romanian bilateral relations could contribute to the improvement of the situation.