Diversified public interventions
The EU Public Employment Services (PES). A key source of information and support for potential return migrants is the EURES network (of which Romanian PES is a part). Institutional development projects were implemented to improve coverage of clients (especially jobseekers from Romania). PES experts and specialised websites provide information on living and working conditions in Romania and other European community countries. It can be a challenge for PES to inform job-seekers of opportunities in other countries, even when the job-seekers are originally from another European country. Collaboration among PES can be further fostered (see Box 6.3. for an example of one such project).
Box 6.3. The MEDIT project
The MEDIT project was initiated by the Romanian Agency for Employment (Public Employment Service) in co-operation with Italia Lavoro (Veneto region). Developed during 2009-11, the project was co-funded by the European Social Fund. Its aim was to create a model of transnational co-operation for the return of Romanian migrants through the development of tools to inform Romanian migrants in Italy on the situation in Romania, and through the enhancement of local Romanian institutions’ ability to support Romanian return migrants once they decide to return.
Immigration policy. In its National Immigration Strategy, Romania identified the following challenges for 2011-14: a) registered labour shortages in certain economic sectors/occupations due to massive emigration of Romanian workers; and b) European interest in using immigration as a possible measure to counteract the negative social and economic effects of an ageing population. The Romanian Government has already introduced changes in the conditions applied to work and residence permits, to facilitate the attraction and retention8 of highly skilled workers.
Maintaining cultural ties. Given the considerable size of Romanian communities abroad, another important strategy involves maintaining and strengthening cultural ties with these communities, and especially with the children of emigrants.9 In 1995, The Romanian Government established the Department for Romanians Abroad10 to develop and implement Romanian diaspora policies. The Department11 focuses on:
- • fostering of contacts between Romanian public figures and organisations from the diaspora and the institutions of the Romanian state
- • increasing co-operation to support consolidation of EU membership
- • promoting Romanian cultural values and strengthening bilateral relations between Romania and migrants’ countries of destination.
The Government’s Department for Romanians Abroad provides financial support for Romanian language courses in countries with large Romanian communities (see Box 6.4). It also promotes an online Romanian language course.12 In addition, the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports in Romania has organised Romanian language, culture and civilisation courses for teachers from Romanian communities abroad (such courses are given in numerous Italian regions, for example, based on a 2007 bilateral agreement with the Italian Ministry of Education).
Box 6.4. Romanian language and civilisation courses
The Government’s Department for Romanians Abroad provides financial support, on a project basis, for Romanian language, culture and civilisation courses. The following are examples of projects already implemented:
- • “Romanian school for second generation migrants - IV” - aiming at teaching Romanian language, history and geography, and providing support for the young generation of Romanian citizens in Spain (implemented by Association ARIPI).
- • “Introduction to Romanian language, culture and civilisation” - providing Romanian courses (language and civilisation) to employees of the Spanish administrative system who interact with Romanian migrants (e.g., police, social services, health care and education institutions). The project has facilitated communication between Spanish administration employees and Romanian migrants (implemented by the Federation of Romanian Associations in Spain - FEDROM).