Creating a Regional Labour Market and Labour Migrants as Response to Regional Market Demands
Since the democratic transition Macedonia has often been singled out among the other countries from South East Europe as having a very high unemployment rate. Due to historic reasons having much to do with the unsound economic policies during socialism on the eve of the transition period Macedonia had more than 150 thousand unemployed persons and about the same equal number of over-employed persons. As a result the country has not been very attractive for foreign citizens, especially when it comes to immigrating for economic purposes. In fact the Macedonian story is much more of emigration than of immigration.
This trend has not changed during the transition years, the difference being that previous emigrants from the country were usually manual labourers, while today more frequently the highly educated work force is emigrating from the country. Hence, brain-drain is “one of the biggest problems of the country, linked with loss of investments in human capital, creative work force, etc.‟ Though lacking a comprehensive migration strategy, due to the Europeanization processes, Macedonia has made some progress in the recent years amending its legislation in the area of migration in compliance with the EU standards. However, for Macedonian perspective, there is not a great urgency in defining the “rules of the game” concerning labour migration to Macedonia. At the moment the country is not attractive for labour migrants. Since many of the challenges in this area are foreseen to be dealt at medium term, many changes of the legislation dealing with migration are expected to be seen in the near future.