New emerging patterns of Romanian high-skilled mobility and their implications for Romania's EU integration

Raluca Prelipceanu, Université de Paris I, Sorbonne

This paper addresses Romanian highly-skilled migration in the light of modern theories on brain circulation and emphasises the role that this type of mobility can play in ensuring Romania’s successful integration into the EU structures. Networks built between migrants and their home country are analysed in terms of recent developments in the information and communication technologies (ICTs) which affect both the nature and the frequency of the contacts. The first part of our paper is an attempt to assess the evolution of this phenomenon during post-communism. Furthermore, we argue that real EU convergence is more than the convergence to a set of economic indicators; it equally concerns convergence to a set of values and lifestyles that cannot be successfully attained without an appropriate circulation of values and ideas. This theoretical assumption will be illustrated in the second part of our paper by a case study presenting the patterns of Romanian highly-skilled migration to France. Our case study is based on a field research conducted both in France and in Romania. Along with emphasizing the reasons that underlie this circulation and the main strategies used, this path allows us to explore how migrants’ lifestyles actually change during this circulation and to assess the impact of this process on family members. Due to recent developments of ICTs the contacts between migrants and their families in the home country have become permanent. However, family relations are often reshaped and redefined. Networks of highly-skilled Romanian migrants have an important part to play in their country of origin by disseminating knowledge and values, but they can play an equally important role in their migratory spaces. The last section of our article thus pinpoints the role of the Romanian highly-skilled migration in diffusing Romanian soft power. Our view challenges thus the traditional view on brain drain, admitting the need to revise Romania’s policies regarding this matter.

  See paper

Presented in Session 99: The European Brain Drain