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Repatriation program attracts few expatriates

December 10th, 2015

A conservative commentator thinks that emigration of young and educated Hungarians can only be reversed if the economic environment in Hungary is made more innovation friendly.

The government’s repatriation program is unlikely to succeed, Zsuzsanna Körmendy writes in Magyar Nemzet. Responding to the government’s project to attract young and qualified Hungarian émigrés back to Hungary, 52 expatriates have returned from the UK. Returnees are offered financial support and jobs. Körmendy recalls that last year, 80,000 Hungarians left for Germany and another 50,000 went to work in the UK. In the past five years, around 500,000 Hungarians sought employment outside the country. Consiering numbers, Körmendy deems it unrealistic to hope that a government program can reverse migration trends. The conservative columnist notes that higher wages alone are not enough to lure expatriates back. In order to make Hungary more attractive to the qualified, upwardly mobile young, Hungary needs an economic environment that promotes innovation and talent, she warns.