Reversing the Elite Brain Drain: A First Step to Address Europe's Skills Shortage

Since the end of the World War II, Europe has been repeatedly afflicted by waves of brain drain, with varying degrees of intensity across time and countries. But these outflows of human capital have rarely turned into some form of brain circulation, nor have they been compensated by adequate inflows of foreign talents. Now, the Digital Revolution and the economic restructuring imposed by a never-ending Eurozone crisis are amplifying the costs of these human capital losses, creating skills shortages that are undermining Europe's ability to compete globally. So far, the European Commission (EC) has taken steps to loosen immigration policies to attract skilled foreigners from across the world. A thorough historical analysis, however, will show that it is high time for European governments to reattract their runways. Policies aiming at remigration, rather than immigration, will generate greater political and economic efficiency.

Edoardo Campanella
May 01, 2015