Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Migration Policies from Origin Perspective in the Case of Romania. Testing a Definition 1

Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Migration Policies from Origin Perspective in the Case of Romania. Testing a Definition 1

Article excerpt

Introduction

In recent years, the interest in evaluating and comparing the effects of migration policies has been experiencing an accentuated increase. Defining and operationalizing definitions to be applied to a great number of countries, on large time-scale, defines a consistent current trend in this direction (see APSA, 2013, for an extensive presentation of research projects in the field). Migration policiesare "transformed", using complex systems of codes, into quantitative variables to be used to compare, evaluate and to set apart effects. Preferred way to look at policies to achieve this end is policy on paper approach. Laws, rules, regulations are considered an appropriated proxy for government interventions in international migration (Czaika& de Haas, 2013). The effort required to codify is always consistent, but the results seem to shed new light on some of the strongest tenets related to migration policies (e.g. the persistent idea of limited or no-effects of the current immigration policies seems to be provoked when modelling their effects as one of the possible determinants ofmigration flows - for a discussion on this, see Czaika & de Haas, 2011).

This type of endeavour is not only conducive to particular analyses, but also produces databases that can be further enriched with new indicators, extendedto a larger number of countries or to a longer time span (e.g. IMPOL database; DEMIG databases). The beneficiary of the rigour of this new approach seems to be, as in general in the case of migration studies, the destination related interventions (immigration policy/integration policy). Except for few of the identified works (i.e. DEMIG project, and partially Gamlen's work), the majority of them is not coveringthe origin state interventions in international migration (emigration/diaspora/returnmigration policies). Yetthere is no doubt about the interest of origin to manage migration and there is convincing evidencethat origin's interventions are changing the characteristics of the (out or in) flows (Weiner, 1985; Heisler, 1985; Massey, 1999 etc.). From this point of view, one may discuss about a need associated with systematically investigating the role origin state plays in international migration. This paper addresses the gap by testing one previously elaborated definition and its subsequent operationalizationof the migration policies from the origin country perspective (Serban, 2014) onRomanian case. With an estimated population of about 20 million inhabitants at the end of 2012 (INS, 2013) and a non-negligible part of it living abroad, Romania is one of the main source of intra-European migration. A former communist country, experiencing a long transition to market economy and democracy, now one of the EU member states, Romania seems to be one of the proper sites to investigate the way authorities built a system of managing migration. Our aim here is not to analyze, explain or compare Romanian migration policies in the last 24 years, but to test the definition, especially its capacity to coherently describe the Romanian authorities' interventions in international migration. Starting from the three dimensionsassigned to the migration policy from an origin country perspective: emigration, diaspora and return migration related interventions, to reach this purpose, we have identified the laws, rules and regulations associated with migration during the period 1990 - 2013. The identified measures was codified in a simple way, our only interest here being to put in evidence changes in legislation. Our underlying assumption is that, if reflecting the same reality,the measures canbe consistently explained in relation to the developmentof international migration and a certain consistency would be noticed across the three dimensionsevolvement. Consequently, plotting the changes in legislation against the time period, the preferred method to present the results, we are interested to see how consistent is the observed picture and how can it be explained by relation to the development of the international migration in Romania. …

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