In the last decade, the countries of the Western Balkans have faced an economic and social crisis and, consequently, a large wave of migration of their citizens, mainly with high qualifications, great potential and various professional skills. But not only that. This wave of migration is not only declining but gaining momentum. Even though these countries are investing money in health care professionals, after graduating, these professionals are increasingly leaving their countries of origin. Taking stock of this challenges, WBAA members have implemented the project entitled: “ACADEMIC MOBILITY OR BRAIN DRAIN – ALBANIA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA AND KOSOVO* CASE”.
This project followed a regional approach, since the problem identified above is not only evident in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Kosovo*, but in all the countries of the Western Balkans. Furthermore, the report clearly proves that the problem is the same and the possibilities to prevent it are small.
Although the project included only three WB countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo*, the findings and suggestions are very useful for other countries of the Western Balkans, especially when the problem is the same; brain drain prevention mechanisms are missing in all WB countries, while governments of these countries have not carried out any report in their medium and long-term agendas to prevent such a practice, for example by offering good opportunities for the nursing staff of these countries to be treated with dignity both in financial and infrastructural aspects.
The project aims to determine the factors that influence young people from three countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Kosovo*) to migrate from their country to another to work, especially in the nursing sector, meaning that its purpose will be long-term, since it aims to prevent a dangerous phenomenon for the respective states, the health systems, and the youth of these countries.
An event was organised in Kosovo during which the findings of the workshop were presented, and participants including from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ombudsman, Medical Professional Associations, Vocational Educational Associations, Civil Society, and Media representatives made highly positive feedback on the findings and recommendations of the report. The event was also covered in the regional media, disseminating the findings and the work WBAA is doing for the development of the region.
During the event, the stakeholders (representatives of the Ministries of Education, Ministries of Health, Governments, Assemblies, etc.) expressed their willingness to consider in their policy making the recommendations of this report.
Prishtina, Kosovo*, 04th of July 2023
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.