Regional Development in the European Union and the Problem of Interregional Migration
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The reduction in regional disparities is one of the European Union’s priority objectives. This implies that efforts should be made in the political as well as the financial arena to promote regional economic development in less favoured region within the European Union. Regional economic growth depends to a large extent on the level of private investments that a region either generates or attracts. Public investments are necessary to create the most favourable conditions for private investments. In both cases the availability of a well- qualified labour force is of increasing importance. Regions with a small and relatively low – skilled labour force therefore have hardly any possibilities to stimulate economic growth. As a result companies do not invest in regions with an insufficient labour force and thus do not create high-skilled jobs, while the skilled and talented people leave the region because of a lack of suitable jobs. In the long run this will inevitably increase regional disparities. The freedom for the citizen of European Union to work anywhere within the E.U. implies the people from the less favored regions have increasing opportunities to work outside their region of origin. The migration of people, among which skilled and talented people, from less favored regions to the more prosperous regions reduces the development potential of their region of origin. The main scope of this paper is to investigate this possible conflict between the aim of regional development policy, which is to reduce disparities, and the freedom to migrate. The first part of the paper examines the regional development in the European Union and the importance of the human capital for economic growth and regional development. Second part of the paper discusses the causes and effects of intra – European migration. Finally, the most important findings and the policy recommendations are presented.
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