A proposal of the new design of the Slovak Republic migration policy up to 2025 was adopted by the Slovak government during its regular session on 8 December 2021 (https://www.minv.sk/?zamer-migracnej-politiky-slovenskej-republiky). Part of the text that is in line with our major concern, i.e. Slovak migrants in the UK and the prospective of their return to the home country as one of the possible consequences of Brexit, refers to the measures that are to be taken in order to attract at least some of the emigrants back to Slovakia.
The document highlights the fact that with regard to Slovakia’s membership in the EU and the Schengen area, the general globalization effects and developments in Slovak society have brought, in addition to some positive elements, many negatives, especially in the form of increased emigration of Slovak citizens, and a significant outflow of skilled labour. This has been happening both in the category of university graduates, as well as in the category of scarce professions. A related big issue is exodus of university students. As a result, the Slovak Republic faces a weakening of its labour market, educational potential, population in reproductive and productive age and subsequent aging, as well as some social challenges redoubled by the lack of quality reintegration programs motivating the return of Slovak citizens.
Priorities of the Slovak Republic in the field of emigration, or the ones aiming to support labour reintegration are, for example, to monitor and analyse emigration flows of the Slovak citizens and of the qualified foreign workers, students and academics successfully integrated in the Slovak Republic, to examine the forms, causes, consequences and negatives of emigration, and to outline estimates of preliminary interest in returning to the country.
What is also considered important is to develop a new comprehensive strategy to reduce the economic, social and demographic causes of skilled labour emigration in the category of scarce professions, as well as in the category of university graduates (permanent departure of university graduates). Other goals include creation of an information-and-consultation platform for the Slovak citizens abroad and evaluation of the effectiveness of the current schemes to make the return to the Slovak Republic and reintegration more attractive to university graduates, as well as taking the appropriate measures improving their functioning. Last but not least, the process of family, social, economic and cultural reintegration of returned Slovak citizens should be facilitated with regard to the specific needs of children and youth.
In the context of our research findings, the proposed measures would only be relevant if the socio-political climate of the country was changed fundamentally. Since the probability for this to happen is close to zero, our estimation of the level of impact of the new policies is also very low. Therefore, our forecast is the outflow will be continued and even increased, especially after the covid-19 pandemic is over.