Population decline and high brain drain can create social tensions

2024-02-29 07:58:00, Sociale CNA

Population decline and high brain drain can create social tensions

The demographic crisis, which has involved the Balkan Region and especially Albania with the shrinking population and the high emigration of young people, in addition to the negative impact on labor markets and the quality of democracy, can also cause general instability, notes a the latest analysis of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) regarding security issues in the Region.

According to the Balkan Barometer in 2023, the economic situation and unemployment are the main concerns for the citizens of the Region, with 47% and 32% of respondents identifying these as the main problems.

But in Albania and North Macedonia, brain drain has emerged as one of the most important issues, with 41% and 27% of respondents respectively highlighting it as a critical problem, with an increase from last year.

KRB experts point out that this trend, especially in Albania, can be related to the new waves of migration and an increase in requests for asylum in the EU and the United Kingdom. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29% of respondents identify brain drain as the third most pressing issue, which shows an increase of 8 points from 2022.

The Regional Cooperation Council coordinating the Berlin Initiative notes that population aging contributes to a demographic challenge, negatively affecting labor markets, economic productivity, and social welfare systems.

The departure of young people and especially those with skills increases inequalities in income, employment and infrastructure development and can become causes for possible social tensions.

The ongoing brain drain and labor migration from the region represent urgent issues that need to be resolved, as they can negatively impact economic stability and subsequently undermine security throughout the region.

Emigration of qualified employees and young talents may continue if opportunities and economic prospects for growth and development remain limited, notes KRB.

Security experts in the Region emphasize that unaddressed economic challenges will have a devastating impact on the social structure. Economic hardship can strain social cohesion, exacerbate inequality and fuel discontent, potentially leading to social unrest and political instability.

Population decline and youth emigration are likely to prompt businesses to seek replacement workers, further complicating domestic tensions, security experts say.

They call that addressing the economic challenges can make the Region safer./ Monitor magazine 

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