• Joanna Dragneva Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Population and Human Studies, Sofia
  • Maria Popova-Hristova National Sports Academy "Vassil Levski", Sofia




research, initiatives, migration, innovation


This article examines the issues related to Bulgarian migration after the country acceded to the EU in 2007 and focuses its research on the phenomenon of “brain drain” – the process of mass emigration during which specialists, scientists and skilled workers leave. Today, this phenomenon is quite typical for Bulgaria as part of the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. The problems associated with the “brain drain” are very relevant as the country suffers significant economic and cultural losses while the host countries acquire large and inexpensive intellectual capital.

During the years of transition, Bulgaria strives to be a full member of the EU and provide opportunities for development and realization of specialists, scientists, and researchers. This requires the adoption of measures and initiatives to establish sustainable development in the capital and in the country and meet the need for highly skilled labor in the industrial sphere.

The article aims to explore the possibilities for the return of Bulgarian migrants in response to the growing need for specialized staff in Sofia. The quantitative study involved more than 500 Bulgarian migrants residing in different host countries, selected randomly and responded voluntarily.

The article defends the thesis that if Bulgaria provides opportunities to develop specialized staff through the undertaking of specific initiatives, this can be an attraction and a motive for the return of Bulgarian migrants.

The study methodology utilizes the quantitative studies model (and, more specifically, the questionnaire method). To obtain more reliable results, their interpretation also includes additional statistical tools. The question whether a correlation exists between the age and the degree of settlement of Bulgarians abroad is of special interest and has been investigated using the Cramér V.

The results show that in recent years the need for specialized staff is constantly growing. In response to this need, the initiatives that are undertaken are aimed at innovations in science and education. The study also takes into account the readiness of Bulgarian migrants to return home.


Angelov, G., M. Lesenski (2017). 10 years in the EU. Migration Trends in Bulgaria. Sofia: Open Society Institute. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from: https://osis.bg/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/MigrationTrendsBulgaria_10YearEU_EuPI_Oct_2017_BG.pdf

Bakalova, M. & M. Misheva (2018). Explanations of economic rationality challenged: contemporary return migration to Bulgaria. Economic studies, 27(2), 80-101.

Baychinska, K. (1998). The Bulgarian’s value system in the conditions of transition to a democratic society. Fact magazine, issue 1/1998, 16-27.

Baychinska, K. & S. Savova (2009). States of national identity and motives for emigration among Bulgarian youths. Sofia: Institute for Population and Human Studies – BAS. Psychological Studies magazine, 3/2009, 7-24.

Bobeva, D. (1994). Emigration from and Emigration to Bulgaria. In: H. Fassmann & R. Munz (eds.) European Migration in the late Twentieth Century: Historical Patterns, actual trends, and social implications. Aldershot: Luxemburg.

Breinbauer, A. (2007). Brain Drain - Brain Circulation or... What Else Happens or Should Happen to the Brains Some Aspects of Qualified Person Mobility/Migration, FIW Working Paper, No. 4, FIW - Research Centre International Economics: Vienna.

Chobanova, R. (2003). Flows and non-EU Europe–Bulgaria. Retrieved March 22, 2021, from: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/211616866.pdf

Castles, S. (2010). Understanding Global Migration: A Social Transformation Perspective. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Theories of Migration and Social Change, 10(36), 1565-1586.

Castles S, H. Haas & M. Miller (2013). The age of migration: International population movements in the modern world. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

European Commission (2015). The 2015 Ageing Report: Underlying Assumptions and Projection Methodologies for the EU-27 Member States 2007-2060. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=The+2015+Ageing+Report:+Underlying+Assumptions+and+Projection+Methodologies&publication_year=2014&

European Migration Network (2018). Annual Report on Migration and Asylum: 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2021, from: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/docs/pages/00_arm2018_synthesis_report_final_en.pdf

European Social Fund (2018). Bulgaria’s Socio-economic development 2007-2017. Defining national priorities for the period 2021-2027.

Horvat, V. (2004). Brain Drain: Threat to Successful Transition in: South East Europe? Southeast European Politics, 5(1), 76-93.

Hristova, A., I. Nacheva & B. Andreev (2017). Optimistic and pessimistic attitudes in a social context. Sofia: Institute for Population and Human Studies – BAS. Psychological Studies magazine, 20(2), 261-285.

Krasteva, A. (2014). From migration to mobility: policies and roads. Sofia: New Bulgarian University. Ministry of the Economy (2018). Innovative strategy for intelligent specialization 2014-2020. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from: https://www.mi.government.bg/files/useruploads/files/innovations/ris3_18.12.2018_bulgarian.pdf

Littlewood, R. & M. Lipsedge (1989). Aliens and Alienists: Ethnic Minorities and Psychiatry. London: Unwin Hyman. In: Tartakovsky, E. & Schwartz, S. H. (2001). Motivation for Emigration, Values, Well-Being, and Identification among Young Russian Jews. International Journal of Psychology, 36(2), 88-99.

Minchev, V. et al. (2012). Bulgarian emigration: theories, policies, empirical studies. Sofia: Ikopis.

Ministry of Education and Science (2019). Psychological determinants of the attitudes toward emigration and life planning among young people, in the context of demographic challenges in Bulgaria. Project – Scientific Research Fund. Sofia: Institute for Population and Human Studies – BAS.

National Statistical Institute (2021). External migration. Retrieved March 28, 2021, from: https://infostat.nsi.bg/infostat/pages/reports/result.jsf?x_2=120

Sretenova, N. (2003). Scientific mobility and ‘brain drain’ issues in the context of structural reforms of Research and Development and the Higher Education Sector in Bulgaria, CSLPE Research Report No 2, University of Leeds: UK.

Statistisches Bundesamt (2019). Migration and integration: Foreign population by age groups and selected citizenships. Foreign Population by age group and selected citizenships on 31 December 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2021, from: https://www.destatis.de/DE/Themen/Gesellschaft-Umwelt/Bevoelkerung/Migration-Integration/Tabellen/auslaendische-bevoelkerung-geburtsort.html

Straubhaar, T. (2000). International Mobility of High Skilled: Brain Gain, Brain Drain or Brain Exchange, HWWA Discussion Paper 88.

Tartakovsky, E. & Schwartz, S. H. (2001). Motivation for Emigration, Values, Well-Being, and Identification among Young Russian Jews. International Journal of Psychology, 36(2), 88-99.

Todorov, I. & А. Durova (2016). Economic growth of Bulgaria and its determinants. Economic studies, XXV(4), 3-35. Retrieved March 27, 2021, from: https://ideas.repec.org/a/bas/econst/y2016i4p 3-35.html

Vietti, F. & Т. Scribner (2013). Human insecurity: Understanding international migration from a human security perspective. Journal on Migration and Human Security. Independent Researcher, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1(1), 17-31.

Winter-Ebmer, R. (1994). Motivation for migration and economic success. Journal of Economic Psychology, 15: 269-284.

Wolburg, M. (2002). On Brain Drain, Brain Gain and Brain Exchange within Europe. Ph.D. Dissertation, HWWA-Hamburg.

Zareva, I. (2018). Returning migrants - effects on the labor market in Bulgaria. Economic studies, 27(2), 102-114.




How to Cite

Dragneva, J. ., & Popova-Hristova, M. . (2021). EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE RETURN OF BULGARIAN MIGRANTS IN RESPONSE TO THE GROWING NEED FOR SPECIALIZED STAFF IN SOFIA. Proceedings of CBU in Social Sciences, 2, 92-105. https://doi.org/10.12955/pss.v2.207
صندلی اداری سرور مجازی ایران Decentralized Exchange
فروشگاه اینترنتی صندلی اداری جوراب افزایش قد ژل افزایش قد