The Impact of Brain Drain in Eastern Europe

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The Impact of Brain Drain in Eastern Europe

Due to the process of globalisation and the achievements made with free movement of people in the last 20 years or so, in the EU and all over the world, the city of Gabrovo in Bulgaria has lived with considerable emigration of professionals from Gabrovo and Bulgaria more broadly to western Europe and the USA. Many young and economically active people have left Gabrovo and their home in search of a higher standard of living elsewhere. As such brain drain usually flows in one direction from developing regions and countries to more developed ones, this has had extremely negative effects on the developing areas that have lost their talents.

Common efforts have been made during these years by Gabrovo’s regional authorities, its technical university, and its industry to develop regional conditions conducive to increasing the living standard of people and instilling in the region a culture of good attitudes and motivation to support local people’s initiatives.

The joint efforts of Gabrovo Technical University and companies have given learners time for transition through internships. These common efforts have resulted in the establishment of a triple helix entity, the Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) “Ambitious Gabrovo”, with a primary focus on talents through a department called Incubator for talents – creating, motivating, supporting talents. Higher education programs have been jointly developed in the field of Mechatronics. Companies in Gabrovo are the first in Bulgaria to have been involved in dual training, wherein vocational education is combined with learning through an internship programme. This was developed through the combined efforts of Gabrovo Technical University, Gabrovo Municipality, and one innovative company from the area. Gabrovo Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a partner in one Erasmus+ program supporting the necessity of specialists for the regional industry.

Meanwhile, RIC “Ambitious Gabrovo” organises yearly Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) trainings for students and summer camps by the name of “Young technician, explorer and inventor” for youngsters. It also organises and supports students in becoming involved in innovation projects, with local industry giving them the opportunity to express their creativity and to learn from doing.

The Regional Innovation Centre also supports innovative methods of educating its regional population as its industry needs knowledge of intensive professionals in order to be able to do the digital transformation and to be competitive in the global market.

TeRRItoria’s partners from the Municipality of Gabrovo are convinced that these actions – focused on the most valuable capital of the region, its people – will provide opportunities for creativity, together with the beauty of the Gabrovo’s nature and its clean water and air, with many spots for active sport being able to attract ambitious specialists to the region.


Article written by Desislava Koleva – Municipality of Gabrovo.

Desislava Koleva isHead of economic Development Department at Municipality of Gabrovo (Bulgaria)

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