Romania’s representative in the Citizens’ Committee for the European Wage Union: Westbound brain drain caused by EU pay gap

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The wage gap between Western and Eastern Europe is the reason for the westbound “silent migration” of skilled youth from Eastern Europe, Romania’s representative in the Citizens’ Committee for the European Wage Union Dragos Tirnoveanu told Agerpres.

“The issue we identified has to do with the wage amount, specifically with the quite wide gap between Western and Eastern Europe which has triggered the so called silent migration of highly-skilled and unskilled workers from Eastern to Western Europe. The brain drain is a negative social phenomenon that adds to other layers of pre-existent issues: declining demography, corruption etc. In plain language, Romania’s best skilled youth are leaving abroad in search of work for a better pay. International surveys show that the youth are also headed for countries with a less corrupt governance,” said Dragos Tirnoveanu.

Together with the initiator of the EU-wide legislative initiative for equal pay for equal work in all European countries Gyongyosi Marton – a Jobbik deputy in the Hungarian Parliament who also chairs the Committee of the Wage Union Initiative – Tirnoveanu was in Oradea Sunday evening, ending a tour through the cities of Cluj-Napoca, Targu Mures, Odorheiu Secuiesc and Satu Mare, aimed at promoting this legislative initiative; during the promotional trip the advocates of this citizens’ initiative held several meetings, press conferences and forums.

This European citizens’ initiative, launched on August 20, needs to raise in one year one million signatures from seven member states for it to be tabled to the European Parliament; more than 100,000 signatures have already been gathered, of which almost 3,000 from Romania (Romania’s share would be of 24,000 signatures).

The reasoning on the signature sheets shows that because of the significant wage gaps the workers’ movement flows in only one direction.

“Massive migration results in a widening of the gap that affects the more disadvantaged member states, while richer member states face a massive inflow of workers, which is considered to harm their interests; this situation renders internal EU divisions even more severe. The EU must clearly show determination in removing wage inequalities that affect the free movement of workers. The Union needs more cohesion to guarantee its survival,” the document states.

Supporters can sign up to this initiative by accessing the webpages berunio.hu, www. wageunion.eu or uniuneasalariala.eu.