sâmbătă, 8 februarie 2014

How to build a successful relationship between Romania and the diaspora?

Romania often keeps an ambivalent position regarding diaspora: on the one hand, we regret that we lose valuable people, active on the labour market, on the other hand, we do nothing to give them the opportunity, for when Romanians return to the country, there are complaints that the remittances sent "home" by the diaspora decrease. There is a similar case with the diaspora: on the one hand they love Romania, on the other hand the offspring is often outraged at what is happening in Bucharest. This is not meant as criticism, but as a first step towards a better plan to develop the relationship between Romanians in diaspora and those in the country of origin. Or, in any case, the first step to assessing this.

I propose to have a look at the global picture. First, there are many kinds of diaspora, as people have left are either before 1989, in 1990, or after 2000. We have a diaspora which was "separated" before 1990, with many educated people in the U.S. and Europe. There is a deep cultural diaspora: opera singers, writers, etc.; an economic / pragmatic diaspora, be it in London, Frankfurt, New York or other places; an institutional diaspora with officials in the European Union and other international organizations (remember that there are many, and they are wide spread); a student diaspora, LSRS, My Grasp, and some post-graduate level; a diaspora of "strawberry pickers" (honestly worthy of respect for their work, primarily in agriculture, particularly in Spain and Italy); and emerging diaspora in the Middle East, Africa and so on.

How can Romania help these Romanians? Firstly, organization: if the Romanian brand becomes one of good quality, it affects Romanians both at home and abroad. Secondly, national coordination and support may be useful: nominations in international organizations and beyond. Thirdly: building a partnership with the diaspora could have financial gain, for example in mediation in export-import. Fourth, the defence of community interests in countries where Romanians are threatened or become the target of attacks.

How can Romanians from the diaspora help Romania? Firstly by helping their families, for if their families spend more money in Romania, both the country and the economy flourish. Secondly, they can map Romanians who are in top companies worldwide, international organizations and the EU / Brussels through their contacts and information available, we will see that there are many. This information, as long as both parties benefit from sharing their contacts, can be the beginning of a long-term, pragmatic development, which takes into account both personal interests and the Romanian ones. Thirdly, the experience they bring to those who return regularly to the country can help us to rise faster and better, self-sufficiency is not our ally. Fourthly, Romanian elites in the diaspora can help raising the national standard in the international media and elite circles in countries of adoption. Finally, it is worth discussing the concept of political influence in countries where the diaspora is active, and where we have large communities, such as Spain and Italy, but also in other places where Romanians are in the local party lists. Just consider the fact we have the first Romanian in the Bundestag, and the first Romanian counsellor in Brussels.

We are starting an adventure with Romania and its diaspora, it depends on us how we manage it in their mutual interest.

Dan LUCA / Brussels


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