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The poor economic situation is the main reason for young people to leave Serbia

The bad economic situation, the impossibility of finding a job, but also better-paid jobs abroad, are the main reasons why young people are considering leaving Serbia, according to research by the Faculty of Geography in Belgrade.

Danica Santic, a professor at that faculty, stated at the panel “Youth Migration: Is Belgrade a Way Station?” That 40 %of young people aged 20 to 25 are thinking about leaving Serbia.

“This research covered 3,500 respondents and the economic issue is the main reason why young people would leave our country, and as a reason for staying, they cited attachment to family and friends, as well as the resolved housing issue,” said Santic.

According to her, what the state should do, in the opinion of the respondents, for young people to stay in Serbia, is to provide greater opportunities for employment, better social and health care and equal chances for advancement.

The research also showed that for 45% of young people, the potential direction of relocation is abroad, while for 18% of them, are in Belgrade or some other larger cities in Serbia.

The Secretary-General of the Umbrella Organization of Youth of Serbia, Stefan Djordjevic, explained that
young people are not in focus in Serbia and that they are endangered as one specific category that is more susceptible to mobility.

“We have to encourage young people to travel, study and see what life is like in some other countries. The essential question is what we offer them here and what are the essential problems they are facing “, stated Djordjevic.

He also said that the education system is not harmonized with the labour market and that this is one of the most important reasons why young people leave.

“We have to create programs and measures that are long-term and that will affect young people, by providing them with a better quality of life.” “Young people do not believe enough in institutions, because they recognize the lack of general interest in representing citizens,” Djordjevic explained.

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The departure of young people to the world costs Serbia more than a billion Euros

The research of the Institute for Development and Innovation showed that the departure of young people abroad costs Serbia up to two billion euros a year. The most direct loss is measured by the funds invested in their education.

The education of one doctor costs around 55,000 euros. Four-year studies cost 30,000 euros, and high school education cost 10,000 less.

“If we multiply all these results that we got individually with some average number of people leaving Serbia, we would come to the result that, based on the loss we have from investing in education, Serbia loses between 0.3 and 1.2 billion euros.” , States the director of the Institute for Development and Innovation Nenad Jevtović. Illustrating how large that amount is, Jevtović states that the export of information and communication services in 2018 in Serbia amounted to 1.1 billion.

The exact number of those who leave are not known, but the OECD and the UN estimate that up to 49,000 people leave our country every year.

“It is obvious that GDP growth in recent years, the constant inflow of remittances from abroad, export growth, inflow of foreign direct investment and all other results of the current government require a systematic approach to migration of all categories of population, especially young people an extraordinary start “, states the advisor to the President of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Miroslav Miletić.

Countries in the region, such as Bulgaria, are also struggling with the problem of young people leaving and Croatia. It used to go to the Baltic countries as well.

“What has Finland done? A complete change of education towards the IT world. And now we have Skype and we still don’t experience Finland that way. Ireland is a great example, Ireland based its economic boom on the third generation from the motherland that returned to Ireland,” Mladen points out. Stamenkovic from the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade.

The Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Serbia, Tracy Gallagher, says that Western countries where young people go benefit from such migration flows. “We are grateful to young people for developing our economy. At the same time, there are many Britons who are motivated by professional or personal reasons to move abroad. One institution cannot solve the problem on its own. Employment policy and incentives to return are part of the solution,” Tracy said. Gallagher.

Our country also benefits from the departure of young people – remittances that come to us from abroad, according to which we are at the top of European countries.
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Argus’s view of Serbia in space

2 years

Involvement in space activities also enables participation in international projects and research, which means that countries at the level of development, such as Serbia, have the opportunity to overcome their (semi) peripheral global position.

Anja Nakarada Pečujlić

Why should Serbia establish space agency?

In a country where the unemployment rate is 11.8%, where the public external debt is 65% of GDP, where practically a quarter of the population is at risk of poverty (with the most vulnerable group being young people aged 18 to 24) and where the average monthly income households in 2016 amounted to 59,624 dinars – in such a country it is difficult to explain why the state should invest in the development of the space industry.

It should be noted that in 2016, worldwide, the revenue from space activities amounted to 329 billion dollars. Revenues are on a steady rise, with a growth rate of 9.52% over the past 20 years.

However, investing in the space industry, an industry that, given the growing investments and technological trends, will become increasingly important in the future, can contribute to alleviating the economic crisis. encourage development. In addition to creating new jobs and preventing the outflow of young professionals, this industry directly affects the prevention of natural disasters, more efficient use of natural resources, the application of information and communication technology in rural, hard-to-reach areas, and the overall development of the domestic high-tech sector.

Countries with a similar level of development according to the United Nations Human Development Index – such as Malaysia and Iran, as well as countries with a lower level of development, such as Nigeria, have been investing in the space industry for years. In Malaysia, the space industry has brought 10,900 new jobs, and it is predicted that in the next 20 years, it will employ another 19,000 highly educated experts.

It should also be noted that in 2016, worldwide, the revenue from space activities amounted to 329 billion dollars. Revenues are on a steady rise, with a growth rate of 9.52% over the past 20 years.

If, for example, in 2014 it became a satellite that monitored the river system in our country, the damage suffered from the floods at that time would certainly have been significantly less.

In addition to the stated economic importance, the space industry contributes to the reduction of damage from natural disasters, because it enables a timely reaction when it comes to floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc. Thus, in 1999, a strong cyclone hit the east coast of India and killed over 10,000 people. A cyclone of the same strength and in the same place, crashed again in 2013, this time killing several people. The various consequences of the unfortunate events came about because, in 2013, India had a meteorological satellite that enabled precise prediction of when and where the cyclone would form and where it would move.

Serbia is not in danger of a cyclone, but that is why it has serious problems with floods, droughts and strong snowstorms. If, for example, in 2014 it became a satellite that monitored the river system in our country, the damage suffered from the floods at that time would certainly have been significantly less. The fact is that we can obtain satellite weather data by paying foreign countries and operators. However, with accelerated climate change and the growing danger of natural disasters, safety is more certain if you have your satellite system. In addition to a greater degree of security certainty, relying on one’s strengths would also contribute to the development of one’s technology.

Launched satellites in Earth orbit are not only used to monitor climate change. They are also main key in the areas of telecommunications and navigation. There fore, communication satellites increase the efficiency of public administration, because they enable the implementation of digitalization in the public sector (e-government), which is set as one of the state priorities in our country. Then, improving the provision of medical services, e.g. e-medicine, which can also be used in inaccessible, rural places (as health care is already applied in some remote villages in Africa via telecommunication satellites from a distance).

Involvement in space activities also enables participation in international projects and research, which means that countries at the level of development, such as Serbia, have the opportunity to overcome their (semi) peripheral global position.

The fact is that satellite technology is used ranges from the prevention of natural disasters to raising the efficiency of management and increasing safety, but it is also a fact that its potentials cannot be applied on their own. A national space agency is necessary for its adequate social application.

The interaction of government, the private sector and educational institutions are crucial for technological innovation and the development of society. Therefore, the space agency, which would necessarily be a link between these three sectors, would contribute to scientific, industrial and social progress, that is. “Capacity development”. Raising development capacities in the field of science and technology enables economic progress in countries with low GDP and high poverty rate because at the same time solving existing problems with the highest technological achievements, raising living standards, creating new jobs and encouraging the development of industry and economy.

Cooperation with other space agencies would enable Serbia to participate in regional, European and world projects, and its easier for transfer of cutting-edge technology, knowledge and experience.

Analyzing the experiences of other national space agencies, the Serbian space (or space) agency would have a role to promote scientific and technological research and to enable a fruitful exchange of information between the agency and other institutions, such as universities, the private industry, government and international partners.

Cooperation with other space agencies would enable Serbia to participate in regional, European and world projects, and it is easier for transfer of cutting-edge technology, knowledge and experience. That opens the possibility for the latest technological solutions to be immediately taken over and applied in the country, and not to be left for some uncertain future. In this context, the agency would also be in charge of developing a national space program and short-term and long-term strategies, that is, defining priorities when it comes to developing industrial capacity.

Given the multiple benefits of developing space technology and industry and the experiences that have shown that space agencies have a crucial role to play in that development, Serbia should seriously consider establishing her space agency. Currently, over 70 countries around the world use part or all of their space industrial capacity and contribute to their development. If countries like Nigeria, Algeria, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Peru already have their agencies and programs, there is no reason why Serbia should not follow the same “space path”.

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Young people and going abroad: “It will be difficult at the beginning, but it will be better than here”

Tijana Dušej Ristev, BBC journalist August 1, 2019

After graduating from the Medical Faculty in Belgrade, Vera Negović from Vrnjačka Banja started learning German. She and her spouse was making plans to move to this country, where she hopes to be able to do the job she was educated for. “The cost of living is almost the same in Serbia and Germany, but salaries are higher there,” Vera told the BBC in Serbian. She worked several jobs after studying in Belgrade and she has been “at the bureau” for five years and she lives in her hometown. Although she reports regularly, the National Employment Service did not call her with any job recommendation.”I waited long enough. They keep saying that we have lack of staff, and here I am without a job for so long, “says Vera. She is aware that it will not be easy for her in the beginning, but she also says that doctors in Serbia are paid 500-600 euros a month, and there they are paid four to five times more. People from the rural parts of Serbia, like Vera, more and more often decide to live in foreign countries, than in Belgrade or some other larger city, shows Faculty of Geography research on population migrations.

  • Faculty of Geography research conducted on a sample of 3,000 people: 46% of respondents support moving abroad
  • OSCE data say that 654,000 people left Serbia between 2000 and the beginning of the 20th century
  • Most young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are left

It's easier "over the board"

The research conducted by the Faculty of Geography, among other things, states that it is no longer a trend for only highly educated young people to migrate. “The availability of information is great thanks to the Internet, so even less educated individuals find it easier to find that it is not so difficult to find a place for yourself in Frankfurt, Milan, Vienna, Zurich, Paris,” Dr. Petar Vasic from the Faculty of Geography told the BBC in Serbian.

He also states that population migrations for the Balkans are normal. “Strong migrations are characteristic for this region. Also, there has been a constant replacement of the population with migration, “Doc. Petar Vasic from the Faculty of Geography told the BBC in Serbian. He explains that this is why there is almost no person in Serbia today who does not have a close relative or friend abroad.” That makes them easier to move abroad “, says Vasić.

During 2018, 122.193 people changed their place of residence, ie permanently moved from one place to another, according to a written answer for the BBC in Serbian from the Republic Bureau of Statistics. However, the institute does not have data on how many people migrate abroad.

„They’re just whining about how scary it is here”

Dajana Nikolić from Smederevska Palanka is studying architecture in Niš, but plans to continue her education in Vienna. She says that she has not yet been in a situation where Serbia has disappointed her, but that she believes that something like that is surely waiting for her. “I was in America during the summer, I worked, I saw that life, salary and standard are better. “I know that is not the case here,” Diana told the BBC in Serbian. She adds that these better living and working conditions make people happier and more satisfied. “And that is not the case here. They are just whining here,” Nikolic says.

Vasic believes that others who leave the country think similarly. He says that it is enough just to look at the difference in average salaries between cities in the rural parts of Serbia and foreign salaries.

“That’s how you put, an individual to faced with a particularly not difficult choice in whether he will look for a job in Kraljevo, Leskovac, Cacak, Sabac, Zrenjanin, Smederevo or somewhere abroad,” says Vasic. they do not go abroad for the sake of existence, because “they want to live in a certain environment and orderly system, but also to provide children with life with far more options and better education.” “Local-patriotic feelings are getting weaker, which significantly facilitates the decision to move abroad,” Vasic believes.

The solution is not in sight

Considering that almost half of the people in the research expressed their intention to leave the country for non-economic reasons, there is no quick solution for this situation. “Certainly, as living standards rise, emigration should subside, but non-economic reasons are a far bigger problem,” Vasic said, adding that it would probably be decades before non-financial reasons began to wane.

Smaller place – a life with less stress

However, there are other examples.

Vojin Klickovic was born in Belgrade, grew up there, studied and worked for several years. Then he got a good business opportunity from a company in Kragujevac. “For me, this job is primarily a career leap, and on the other hand, without the support of my wife and family, I would not have decided to take such a step,” Klickovic told the BBC in Serbian. in Kragujevac, they came from Nis, Negotino, Zajacar, Svilajnac. “A lot of them accepted the job because of better living conditions, a calmer environment, lower living costs,” says Vojin. He noted that the absence of good and experienced staff is particularly pronounced in smaller communities, precisely because of large migrations, and that large companies operating in smaller places in Serbia are forced to find qualified people often from Belgrade.

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Why are young people leaving Serbia

A panel discussion of the non-governmental organization “Serbia 21” was organized at the Petrus Hotel in Paracin on the topic “Why do young people leave Serbia”. The president of the NGO “Serbia 21” and MP Nenad Konstantinovic, a member of the Fiscal Council of Serbia Vlada Vuckovic and the Secretary-General of the organization “New Concept Paracin” Boris Lukic spoke at the tribune.

A survey conducted by Serbia 21 in July shows that 1.2 million Serbian citizens are considering leaving. Of the total number of those who would like to leave, almost half do not plan to return. Suitcases would like to pack 450,000 young people – 36 %of respondents aged 18 to 29. A better standard and orderly society is the main argument of young people why they want to go to the countries in Europe. Those who stated in the research of the organization Srbija 21, say that they are thinking about leaving, mostly because of state economic reasons.

“First of all, the standard, better salary, the possibility of employment, and a small percentage of them also state an organized state,” Nenad Konstantinović from the organization Srbija 21 told the BBC in Serbian. Similar research was conducted in the diaspora during the summer. 2,200 respondents participated, and 46 % of them stated that they did not plan to return. “When they retire, they plan to return only a third of them, but the key question is- do they see that their children could live in Serbia – 90 % of them answered negative,” says Konstantinović.

Precise data on the current number of Serbian diaspora do not exist. Figures of two or three, up to five million people are mentioned. Those who live abroad have different reasons to stay than those who are just planning to leave. “People who already abroad say that reasons are better perspective, certainty, security, safety, and better orderly state and a system in which they know what to expect. If you have a certain level of education, you know where you can get a job and what your salary will be. In Serbia, when you finish your studies, you don’t know if you will find a job at all, let alone how you will be get paid “, explains Konstantinović.

Boris Lukić said at the tribune that Paraćin has a big problem with the outflow of young highly educated people who either stay to live and work in Belgrade or decide to go abroad with their entire families: “Large outflow of young, mostly highly educated. In the past, in the 70’s, people from the countryside went, mostly to Austria, France, Switzerland, today urban children, and that is mostly Sweden and Stockholm. Thousands of people from Paracin have gone to Sweden in the last ten years. Closed factories, big giants, a huge number of middle-aged people have lost their jobs and have not been able to cope with the new circumstances. ”Lukić concluded.

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The departure of young people from Serbia can be stopped, here’s how

Radio Television of Serbia

Every day, 104 inhabitants leave Serbia, mostly young people. It is additionally worrying that half of those young people between the ages of 15 and 29 also want to leave the country. Some of them could keep higher salaries here, but for many money is not enough reason to stay.
They are looking for a better standard and a better perspective.

Plus one billion and two hundred million euros, how much was last year’s export of IT services,it was annulled by the minus made by the departure of the youth from the country.That’s how much cost the state education of 35,000 people who left the state. Serbia was left without enough craftsmen, engineers, doctors and IT experts.”Higher education positions, in addition to that economic moment, require other factors that could improve the quality of their lives,, That’s an investment that companies give them, a feeling that they can grow and develop professionally, a space for some personal development”, points out prof. Doc. Dragan Lončar, Vice Dean for Cooperation of the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade.

In terms of its ability to keep talent, Serbia ranks 134th on the list of 137 countries.
Some companies are trying to change those statistics. Dragomir Kostić from Atlantic Group says that in that company they enable workers to have flexible working hours following their needs. “We have also given the possibility for employees to go to the ‘sabbatic’, which is practically a form where it is a paid leave of several months, most often it is a question of additional education or resolving some personal situations,” Kostic says.

Hard to professional strength

Dissatisfied, they go abroad, leaving unsatisfied companies, who find it harder than ever to find professional workers. The President of the Board of Directors of the Serbian Association of Managers, Jelena Bulatović, believes that the economy should cooperate with universities. “In the early processes, they should be involved in creating a curriculum for certain positions that may not be present at the faculties now, then concrete solutions on how to make it easier for young people, for example, to obtain easy loans for houses or apartments,” Bulatovic said. The state assures that they are working on solving that problem – it has been formed a Coordination Body that should slow down the departure, return those who left, but also attract workers from abroad. “Without entrepreneurs, this Coordination Body and the measures they could take will not play any role for us. We need to have a private sector where we will employ those people “, points out Bojana Stanić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor.

The Prime Minister’s Office announces that they are also working on the establishment of a body for circular migration, which will help those who want to return to Serbia. Among them, the least will be highly educated, because 76% of them do not intend to return to the country.


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