20.05.14 - The cases of the Republic of Moldova and the countries of South East Europe

Over the past 20 years skilled migration has become both a threat and an opportunity for the development processes in South East Europe. Governments of the region have started to shift their policies from a position of strong disability to a more proactive approach as they attempt to link their foreign-based nationals to the transformations taking place in their countries. Due to the imperatives of increasingly knowledge-based economies and societies, skilled migration has been easily identified as an important policy area in the region.

Mobilize the scientific diaspora

Here, the Republic of Moldova is an example of a country suffering from brain drain trying to implement adequate strategies to mobilize and harness the resources of its scientific diaspora. The research project “Connecting the scientific diaspora of the Republic of Moldova to the scientific and socioeconomic development of the home country”, implemented by CODEV in collaboration with the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (ASM), provided new empirical evidence on Moldovan scientists and skilled professionals in the destination countries, and it identified their factual and potential cooperation links with the scientific community left behind.The study concluded that apart from establishing formal channels of interaction with the diaspora to stimulate joint activities of knowledge transfer with local development actors, the structural situation in Moldova needs to be improved. The project ran from 2010 to 2013 financed by the SCOPES Program of SNF-SDC.

Actions and policy strategies

A supplementary valorization grant enabled publication of the edited volume: “Skilled migration and development practices: Republic of Moldova and the countries of South East Europe”, which includes the cases of Moldova, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. The book illustrates brain gain actions and policy strategies implemented in these countries, and it identifies obstacles hindering diaspora’s connections and knowledge transfer. The volume makes an important contribution by establishing the outlines for a new framework for action for addressing skilled migration showing the potential for a regional approach in this area. The book was presented to policy makers and various stakeholders at a public event in Chisinau last 7 February 2014.