Why Romanians do not quit Spain? Romanian migrants' copying strategies after the crisis

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Author: Adriana Suiu
Date: Fall 2015
From: Geographica Timisiensis(Vol. 24, Issue 2)
Publisher: West University of Timisoara, Department of Geography
Document Type: Report
Length: 3,100 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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Abstract. After the fall of communism in 1989 Romania experienced an unprecedented wave of migration. From 2000 onwards, Spain was one of the preferred European countries for migration because the similarities on language, culture, and a job market open for low skilled labor. With the economic crisis of 2008, the construction and services sectors have been seriously affected. This fact had as a consequence high rates of unemployment, especially among migrant workers. In order to copying with these circumstances, Romanians migrants have developed new strategies, like internal and external mobility. We contend that mobility within Spain has become an important characteristic of this population during the last years.

Keywords: migration, permanent migration, adaptation, economic crisis, immigrants


Migratory movements of postwar Europe have experienced different phases being one of them the flows sent by post socialist countries (Dragut, A.1981). For the Spanish case, Romanian migration experienced in the 90s an important increase, leaded by members of ethnic and religious minorities. Thus, Adventist migrated before Orthodox (Viruela 2002a), and taking advantage of religious networks (Viruela, R. 2002b; Viruela, R. 2009; Gomez, S. and Molina, J.L. 2010), most of these emigrants were able to adapt successfully to the receiving contexts (Anghel, R. 2011). For the Romanian case, it is possible to distinguish three stages after the fall of the Ceausescu regime (Diminescu, D. 2003). The first stage (1990-1994) is marked by a short-term move to neighboring countries (Hungary and Germany). The second phase (1994-2001) is mainly driven by the search for a job under the pressure of a severe economic crisis due to privatization and restructuring. The third stage migration begins in 2002, when it removes an entry visa to the Schengen area. In the last two stages, favorite countries were Italy and Spain (Dida, A. 2013). After the onset of the crisis in 2008, new destinations were preferred by Romanian immigrants like Germany, England, France, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands. A segment of the high-skilled workforce (especially medical staff) became interested in Britain, France and Germany (Alexe, I. and Paunescu, B. 2011). In terms of space, Eastern Europe has become one of the most important areas of labor migration. Flows between Romania and Spain became among the most important in Europe since the fall of communism (Viruela, R. 2013). In Spain, the crisis affected mostly the foreign population, Romanians being amongst the most affected (Viruela, R. 2013). Romanian emigrants developed during the crisis diverse strategies in order to face the new situation. These strategies can be grouped into five types: return migration, remigration, internal migration, circular migration and permanent migration. Permanent migration strategy is predominant, while Spain is the preferred destination country for Romanians at the expense of Italy, the criterion of obility appearing in second place (Sandu, D. 2015). Since 1980, Spain has become a good destination to find work and achieve an adequate standard of living, involving not only the return of many Spaniards who emigrated in previous years, but also attract new residents. A sizeable number of...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A504461383