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Aspects of the external migration of population from Moldova NouA

Abstract: Located on the left bank of the Danube, at the border with Serbia, Moldova Noua has known the external migratory phenomenon before 1989 and, most of all, in the post-Decembrist period. In the 7th and 8th decades of the 20th century, approximately 5-6 persons crossed the Danube annually to reach the Occident. In the period 1990-2006, the volume and intensity of the emigration grew very much, mostly after January 1, 2002, as a consequence of the removal of the visa obligation for the Romanian citizens that wanted to travel within the Schengen space. This paper analyses the causes, the dynamics, and the structure of emigration and the consequences of external migration.

Key words: external migration, population, emigrants structure, Moldova Noua

General considerations

According to the Dictionary of Sociology (2003), migration represents the phenomenon that implies the more or less permanent movement of the individuals or of groups beyond the symbolical or political boundaries, towards new communities and residential areas. This term implies the passing of a frontier, of an official political limit, no matter of the distance (Erdeli, Dumitrache, 2001).

International migration, considered the essential component of the development processes, even their symbol (Badescu, Cucu-Oancea 2005), is nowadays a response to the ever increasing inequalities, a process determined and sustained by globalisation, through the amplification of the mobility at world scale. As one of the processes that have profoundly marked humanity's history, migration can be seen both as a negative factor, of abandon and also as a positive element.

Located on the bank of the Danube, at the boarder with Serbia, Moldova Noua has known the external migratory phenomenon even before 1989, but it increased especially in post Decembrist period. In the 7th and 8th decades of the 20th century, approximately 5-6 persons crossed the Danube annually to reach the Occident, but there were even more (10-15 persons) who did not succeed (they were sent back to the Romanian authorities that put them into prison). At the same time, three immigrants from Serbia, who came here to get married, were registered. In the period 1990-2006, the volume and intensity of the emigration grew very much, mostly after January 1, 2002, since the Romanian citizens that wanted to travel within the Schengen space did no longer need a visa.

If we make a comparative analysis between the migration before December 1989 and the present one, we can see a significant change in the character of the territorial external mobility of the population. Unlike the past, when people's departure from one part of the world to another meant, almost all the time, the permanent settlement in the new host country, the international migration has a circular character today (Sandu, 2003), in the sense of maintaining communication connections with the origin country. Even if the dimensions of the migratory phenomenon are estimated at high values, the data registered at the censuses of population are incomplete. Starting from the premises that migration is a phenomenon with multiple economic, demographical, social, cultural, and psychological implications, the present study aims at responding to the needs of realist and rigorous estimation of the phenomenon, in the sense of the implication of the decisional factors in the stabilisation of the population.

In the analysis of the international migration, we started from the census data at community level, using the agricultural registers for the four settlements that make up Moldova Noua. This study took into account the persons with at least one experience of international migration for work, even if they were in the country when the census was made.

The causes and consequences of external migration

The separation from the old political system did not mean also the removal of the social problems that the communism provoked; during the transition period, the state institutions were incapable of solving the demands of raising the incomes and improving the living standard. Therefore, the idea that the state will solve the people's problems has become for most of the people, an illusion. Young people were the first who acknowledged this; that is why the temporary or permanent emigration remained and will remain a way of solving the problems they are facing for a lot of Romanians.

Even if the influence of the non-economic factors cannot be neglected in the decision of migration, the main cause that pushes even more people to leave, temporary or permanently, the native country is represented by the disparities of the existent incomes between the area of origin and the destination country.

Unfavourable social conditions seriously influence the dimension of the migratory phenomenon: the rate of unemployment, poverty, the level of investment, the disbelief in the state's institutions etc. Between 2002 and 2006, the rate of unemployment oscillated between 15.9 percent and 29.4 percent, the raise of this indicator being related to the slowing down of the activities at the Suvarov I and Florimunda mines and the reduction of mineral exploitation in the Valea Mare quarry.

The need for labour force in certain activity fields developed countries confronts with, as well as the demographic ageing, phenomenon specific to the central and west European states represent another emigration cause. The increase of old populations rate has numerous consequences, from the need of employment for replacement, till the creation of new jobs in the social assistance domain.

The reduction of the costs for transport and communication evidently favours cross-border migration. The persons circulation is also stimulated by the fast transmission of information, by the speed of the accomplishment of connections between different points located at large distances that facilitates the connection of the emigrant with the family.

The presence of some close persons (members of the family, friends) that emigrated before 1989 and constitute a support point for the new emigrants also favours migration.

It is well known that migration determines changes not only at the level of the origin country but also at the level of the destination country, the consequences of this phenomenon having two sides, positive and negative. The economic benefits are in fact the first follow ups expected by the emigrant and his family. The money sent in the country influences the consume and the economic growth. The investments achieved on the base of these sources create new jobs, certain economic sectors, like tourism, constructions, transport, communications, are the first that benefit from migration. We should also not forget the cultural advantages: information, even brief about the country that he/she works in, the capacity to communicate in a foreign language, the change of the death rate, are successes for any emigrant. For the destination country, the benefits of migration consist in the attraction of already educated and qualified young population, that, in general, take jobs that are usually avoided by the locals, because of the difficult conditions of work and the level of risk.

There are also certain disadvantages that are mainly reflected in the psychological costs, separation from the family and the cultural environment. There is the risk of for family members to grow apart, the age families are formed increases and the birth rate drops because having children is no longer a priority for emigrants.

Migration generates a series of difficulties because of the tough working conditions and in certain situations, the hostility induced by racist attitudes makes the immigrants integration in the new society be even harder to achieve.

The dynamics and structure of emigration

During the analysed period, the total emigrants number raised up to 2,863 persons, from which 1,473 were not in the country when the study was achieved (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. The number of emigrants reported to the families from which they

have emigrated in the period 1990-2006

The analysis of Fig. 1 emphasizes that the number of persons that have emigrated at least once is much higher than the number of families, fact that shows that the migratory experience and the success of a 'pioneer' emigrant have also triggered other persons from the family abroad.

Due to the fact that beginning with 2002, there was no compulsory visa for travelling within the Schengen space, the phenomenon of the Romanian Diaspora has increased. The migratory experience comes to confirm this aspect. Thus, from the total number of emigrants, 68.3 percent were experiencing the first migration, 17.2 percent the second, but the rate decreased to 14.5 percent for the third and fourth migratory experience. This aspect explains the large number of emigrants that left in 2006 (from July to August when the investigation was done) compared with the ones that emigrated after 1989, but at the moment when the census was carried out, they were in the country (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2. The structure of emigrants by the migratory experience

Regarding the emigrants sex structure, it is noticed a more intense participation of men at the migratory process due to the fact that the role of the woman has always been limited to raising and taking care of the children and household, although the populations emancipation tendency is getting stronger.

Due to the fact that obtaining data referring to emigration has been realised indirectly, from the persons that knew well the community (clerks, teachers etc.) and taking into consideration the large volume of required information, like the avoidance of obtaining some incorrect information, we have considered that splitting the emigrants on two groups of ages, to be more exact 18-24 and 25-60 years is pretty suggestive. It is obvious that the participation of the young people of less than 18 years old and of the persons over 60 years at the temporary migration for work is extremely low, which allowed us not to analyse these age groups.

A significant participation is ensured by persons aged between 25-60, that represent 71.8 percent from the total of the persons that are at the age of their full maturity and with a maximum capacity of work mobilization (Fig. 3). The proportion of the young people is pretty important, if we think that young people are in general included in different forms of education. Therefore, young people that do not follow a further form of education after school and some students that emigrate for a season, especially in agriculture are more important.

Fig. 3. The structure of emigrants by age-groups

At level of the settlements that make up the town, the greatest rate of young people in the total number of emigrants was registered at Moldova Veche (47.7 percent), followed by Moldova Noua (43.2 percent), Macesti (6.1 percent), and Moldovita (3.0 percent) (Fig. 4). Taking into consideration that getting a job after graduation is least probable, the unrewarding payment of young people adds to the lack of motivation for studying and qualification, because the possibilities of material accomplishment are minimum.

Fig. 4. The structure of emigrants by localities components of Moldova Noua

From a confessional point of view (Fig. 5), the majority is represented by Orthodox people, with 85.3 percent, as even these communities are relatively homogenous from a confessional point of view, in the sense of the prevalence of the population of Orthodox religion. There follows the Neo-Protestants with 5.8 percent, higher rates being registered at Moldova Noua with 10.8 percent and Moldovita with 6.2 percent. Although a minority from a confessional point of view, the Neo-Protestants are characterised through a great expansion for migration, characteristic signalled by numerous migration researchers (Sandu, 2003).

Fig. 5. The structure of the emigrants by confession

The structure on countries of emigration (Fig. 6) shows the fact that the favourite destinations are represented by the member countries of the EU. The most consistent migratory flux leads to Italy that totalises 40.4 percent of the number of the emigrants. The demand of labour force in agriculture, but also in house keeping activities and taking care of old people, tourism etc. refers especially to female population. A great importance has the facility of communicating in a romantic language, as well as the Latin spirit, open, permissive, so close from the one of the Romanians, which contributes to an easier adaptation of the emigrants, the psychological costs determined by the separation from the familial and cultural environment being fewer. The second migratory wave heads towards Germany, with a lower rate (21.3 percent) due to the linguistic barriers and difficulties of adapting in a society known for its strictness. The same percentage has Austria, followed by Czech Republic (5.1 percent), Serbia, the U.S.A., Sweden, Australia, France, and Ireland.

Fig. 6. The structure by countries of emigration

As a conclusion we can say that the lack of perspective in Romania, corruption, the difficulty of obtaining a well-paid job, able to ensure a decent life, the poor implication of the state in solving the problems young people confront with, as well as most of the adult population, are few of the arguments that justify the migratory phenomenon in the small mining studied town. This phenomenon also characterises other towns, especially those mono-industrial and probably, in the future, it will still grow. Taking into consideration the negative consequences of the international migration especially from the demographic point of view, we consider that the state should get much more involved in managing this phenomenon, through the raise of the living standard and the creations of employment opportunities in our country, measures that will diminish the number of those who intend to emigrate.


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