‘Brain drain’ from Bulgaria and Romania helps Germany

Written by on December 28, 2016 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on ‘Brain drain’ from Bulgaria and Romania helps Germany

Ten years after joining the EU, both Bulgaria and Romania are suffering from an exodus of skilled workers. But the brain drain has been a brain gain Germany.

Her new life began in 2009 – two years after her home country joined the EU. Back then, Elena Ioana Braicu, a Romanian doctor, took a job at Germany’s largest medical institution, Berlin’s Charité Hospital.

“I had a good standard of living in Romania. But it was important for me to prove to myself that I could work my way up from the bottom of a more advanced system,” Braicu tells DW. The doctor says she cannot imagine returning. “I couldn’t start over in the Romanian health system. You have to work much more in Germany, but you also have more opportunities to rise within the system.”

Anna Dimitrova was also hoping for better career opportunities when she emigrated to Germany 20 years ago. Now, the 40-year-old Bulgarian is one of Germany’s few top managers with a migrant background: “After the Berlin Wall fell, it was pretty obvious that I would study abroad. I wanted to study business management and learn how the market economy functioned first-hand.”

She pursued her goal with what she called “hard work and a strong will” from the outset. And it paid off: The Bulgarian graduated at the top of her class at the University of Nuremberg. Upon completing her studies she was hired by Mannesmann – later to become telecom company Vodafone – and is now a member of the company’s executive committee.

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