Emigration of Macedonia to Switzerland – changes and current

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University ”Ss Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje
INSTITUTE OF ECONOMICS
Emigration of Macedonia to Switzerland –
changes and current situation
Verica Janeska
Emigration in pre transitional period
Three periods can be identified:
 From 1945 to early sixties – in the period 1953-1961 about
164,000 persons left the country (out of them127,000 persons
of Turkish nationality).
 The second period (1961-1975) - About 47,000 persons
permanently left the country and in 1971 about 56,500 persons
(Population Census data), were registered as Macedonian
citizens abroad (96.4% of them were migrant workers).
 The third period (1976-1990) - is characterised by:
- Decrease of employment abroad (1976-1985) and
its re-growth in the second half of the eighties;
- More intensive return of migrant workers;
- Reunification of families of those staying behind;
- Transformation of temporary migration into permanent one.
Emigration in pre transitional period
Main characteristics of the emigration abroad:
 About 85.600 persons temporary employed abroad through the
Employment Agency in the period 1967-1990 (out of which
63.6% until1975, and 25.5% in the period 1985-1990);
 In the same period (1967-1990) the number of the registered
returnees amounts to 55,245 persons.
 In the period 1971-1981 the number of migrant family members
increases from 2.016 to 42.958 persons.
 With the Population Census 1981, about 19.500 persons were
registered as born abroad.
Emigration in pre transitional period
Main destination countries:
Emigration abroad from Macedonia - main destination countries
Number
1981
1994
TOTAL
Australia
USA
Kanada
Germany
Switzerland
Sweden
100922 173611
34651 58488
9870
8958
3876
7213
28896 34393
6285 23775
4807
5007
Share (in %)
1981
1994
100.0
34.3
9.8
3.8
28.6
6.2
4.8
Increase /
decrease (%)
100.0
33.7
5.2
4.2
19.8
13.7
2.9
Source: Population Censuses 1981 and 1994, State Statistical Office, Republic of Macedonia.
72.0
68.8
-9.2
86.1
19.0
278.3
4.2
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
1971*
Number
1981
1994
Share (in %)
1981
1994
TOTAL
857
6285
23775
100.0
100.0
Employed abroad
857
5476
12193
87.1
51.3
809
11582
12.9
48.7
Family members
*Without family members
Source: Population Censuses 1981 and 1994, State Statistical Office, Republic of Macedonia.
Emigration in the period of transition
The overall number of Macedonian emigrants abroad may be
estimated at more than 250,000 persons.
Macedonian emigration can be classified in three types:
 Permanent family emigration or family reunification
 Temporary and circular economic emigration
 Circular economic emigration for other reasons (education, training,
visits of the family members abroad and so on).
With Population census1994 were registered 173,611 Macedonian citizens
abroad (out of them 46,000 have left the country in the period1990-1994).
According Population census data 2002 – 35,000 Macedonian citizens
have been abroad for less than one year. Out of them about 6000
persons were registered in Switzerland.
Emigration in the period of transition
The number of Macedonian citizens in the EU receiving countries
increase from 34,000 (1996) to 183,000 persons (2012) – Eurostat
migration stock data
In Germany, Switzerland and Italy, in 2010 were registered about
220,000 Macedonian citizens (Eurostat and other data sources) i.e.
247,800 (World Bank data).
Demographic and the socio-economic characteristics of emigrants:
 Increased share of family members in the total number of emigrants
 Increased share of women in the gender structure of the emigrants
 Significant increase of children, young population (15-29) and
women’s fertile contingent.
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland, 1994 - 2012
Total number of
imigrants in
Switzerland
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
332
363
369
375
383
406
424
447
476
500
524
541
554
602
669
714
766
815
869
493
590
494
158
645
630
370
553
966
907
663
912
527
093
715
004
277
994
969
Source: Swiss Federal Statistical Office
Macedonian
citizens in
Switzerland
24
39
45
48
51
54
56
58
59
60
61
60
60
60
59
60
60
60
61
891
540
234
604
142
042
092
549
926
676
008
898
362
184
909
043
426
741
668
Share (in %) of
Macedonian citizens in
total imigration of
Switzerland
1,87
2,90
3,30
3,53
3,70
3,84
3,94
4,04
4,06
4,04
4,00
3,95
3,88
3,76
3,59
3,50
3,42
3,34
3,30
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
Participation of women in the total number
of the Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
48.4%
47.0%
43.8%
1995
2003
2012
Live births in Switzerland from parents with Macedonian citizenship 9781 in the period 1995-2004 and 6484 from 2008 to 2012
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
Participation of children, working-age and
older population in the total number
of Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
2012
2.0%
65+
1995
0.7%
0.2%
74.1%
71.0%
66.6%
15-64
0-14
2003
23.9%
28.3%
33.2%
Macedonian citizens in Switzerland
 Educational structure
- In 2000 more than half of the Macedonian citizens in Switzerland were
without completed education and in process of education.
- Among those who have completed their education, the share of migrants
with low level of education is dominant (The Swiss Federal Statistical
Office data for 2000)
 Ethnic structure
- The share of Albanians was and remain dominant, while the share of
Macedonians is relatively smaller.
- Out of the 5671 Macedonian citizens residing in Switzerland up to one
year 82.9% were Albanians and 12.6% Macedonians (Population Census
data, 2000)
Transnational activities of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland
In the case of the Macedonian emigration in Switzerland
they are manifested in the causes as well as consequences
and implications of these migratory movements.
Having in mind the previously elaborated changes in the scope
and the characteristics of the migration contingent in Switzerland
they should be seen in the light of the transformation of the
temporary emigration into permanent one.
Transnational activities of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland
 Family reunification and established migration networks were
one of the main determinants of the big changes in the scope and
migration contingent structure of the Macedonian emigration in
Switzerland.
 According the place of origin majority of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland are from North-West part of the country,
particularly from the Region of Polog.
 Although and other regions in the country were faced with high
unemployment and low standard of living, due to the established
migration networks only the Region of Polog witnessed large
scale of emigration in Switzerland.
Transnational activities of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland
Macedonian experience in relation of the economic transnational activities
of the emigration, including the emigration in Switzerland are as follows:
 The cases of remittances being invested in business (business creation,
investment in social services, corporations) are rare.
 Almost all available research regarding the usage of remittances show that
they are mostly used for the purchase of land, building or renovation of
houses/flats, the purchase of vehicles and household interior, organisation of
ceremonies.
(Recent survey on remittances in 2008 targeting 2,797 households in
Macedonia found out that remittances are mainly used for durable goods,
housing renovation, and purchase of farms, land improvement and
ceremonies).
Transnational activities of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland
Macedonian experience in relation of the economic transnational activities
of the emigration, including the emigration in Switzerland are as follows:
 Significant impact of remittances on the labour market in terms of
employment increase and unemployment decrease in the regions of
migrants’ origin cannot be identified. Polog was and remains the one of
the regions with highest unemployment rate.
 When the temporary migration is transformed into permanent one
there are no positive benefits of the acquired knowledge, skills and
competences of the migrants.
Transnational activities of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland
Macedonian experience in relation of the economic transnational activities
of the emigration, including the emigration in Switzerland are as follows:
 Remittances positively influence consumption levels and standard of
living of the migrant households, but with the reunification of the families
there is gradual decrease of their inflow.
 The macro-economic impact of remittances and total private transfers from
abroad are also positive. For example, the three usually used indicators
shows that on average for the period 2003-2008, officially recorded
remittances amounted:
- 10.4% of the GDP
- over 50.8% of the trade deficit and
- they were almost three times higher than the foreign direct investments.
Transnational activities of the Macedonian
citizens in Switzerland
Macedonian experience in relation of the economic transnational activities
of the emigration, including the emigration in Switzerland are as follows:
 The case of the Region of Polog shows that the influence of the economic
emigration on the socio-economic development is manifested in only
short-term, insufficiently expressed development benefits.
 The continued increase of emigration for almost five decades did not
contribute to the substantial change in the development of this region i.e.
in overcoming the problem of insufficient development.
Migration Policy
Resolution on Migration Policy for the period 2009-2014 (2008)
Action plan on the Resolution on Migration Policy for the period
2009-2014 (2009)
In these documents set of measures and activities concerning emigration abroad
are foreseen:
 Measures for application of the legal obligation for the reporting of departures
/ arrivals of the Macedonian citizens upon leaving/returning to the country;
 Diaspora mapping and creation of a database for distinct categories of
migrants (businessmen, scientists, students, artists, etc.);
 Supporting temporary emigration and circulation of the labour force;
 Measures for facilitation of return of citizens from abroad;
 Creation of policy for reduction of intellectual emigration and return of highly
educated persons from abroad;
 Measures concerning legal transfer of remittances and its productive use;
 Mobilization of the development potentials of the Diaspora for improvement
of the local economic development.
Migration Policy
In the Resolution on Migration Policy for the period 2009-2014
there are no particular measures and activities for the emigration in
the receiving countries with greater number of immigrants from
Macedonia, including Switzerland.
 In future the Government should put more attention on the
measures for creation of “social fields” that link Macedonia
with the destination countries.
 These measures should be directed on the improvement of the
transnational economic, political and socio-cultural activities
of the migrations.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION
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