The visa liberalization for Macedonia in 2009 not only brought wide benefits but also negative criticism for the country and its citizens. On the one hand, one of the benefits is that Macedonian citizens could freely travel to EU. While, on the other hand – critics, mainly EU member states, saw an increased inflow of asylum seekers from Macedonia. Almost three years after the visa liberalization, Macedonia is facing severe criticism by international NGOs for "controlling" Roma to leave the country, as well as returning to the visa regime. The majoritarian Macedonians and the Europeans often put the blame on Roma for the negative image in front of EU, without seeing the roots of the causes for asylum as well as the benefits of integration that may arise, in the long run.

In this regard, this analysis aims to present the reasons for asylum from an economic perspective, as well as to analyze the cost and benefits of those European countries that are the recipients of the asylum seekers. In addition, this analysis interprets the “asylum issue” beyond the existing framework and provides arguments for promoting Western countries investment in the Balkans, in order not to repeat the same scenario as in the case of Bulgaria and Romania EU membership, which produced massive migration in Central-Western European states.

Freedom of movement is one of the fundamental rights of people. In a time of the financial crisis, the free movement of people is followed with an increased inflow of asylum seekers in the economically wealthier countries of the European Union. Often this trend results in revisions of the traveling rules and  the possible establishment of new measures related to the visa regime. Still, we must remember that the migrations and asylum seeking are not new and unknown phenomena for Macedonia and the other countries in the region. The migrations (and recently – asylum seeking) are known as one of the possibilities of finding a way out of  poverty, or  search for better life conditions (economic, social, and political life). Because of the quest for an exit from poverty, people migrate, similar to those in Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Migrations exist since the beginning of mankind because in the mankind history it is known that people traveled night and day for a long period looking for better and safer living conditions. Still, the migrations from Macedonia have been recorded since the beginning of the XX century, due to various reasons. For example: during the Ottoman Empire the migrations were driven by political unrest and search for wealth in the New World. Also, after the Second World War, the search for employment, the political views opposed to the Yugoslav Communism, and the devastating earthquake in 1963 repeatedly caused the migration of the population.[1]

From 19 December 2009, with the adoption of the decision on visa liberalization, visa-free travel across Europe became a reality for the citizens of Macedonia. [2]

We live in a globalized world that recently is facing with a deep economic crisis. Worldwide, every fifth person is poor and in Macedonia every third citizen. From a historical perspective, poverty is a phenomenon that has always existed in societies because of anomalies in the system of organization of the state. Unlike the past, today poverty is unacceptable and is a constant challenge for its elimination and eradication. Poverty is inherently contested concept. However, scientists, policy makers, and even politicians agree on one thing - that poverty is a problem. Whatever the definition or description of the poverty is, the primary or underlying message is that poverty is not just a condition, but an unacceptable condition.

After the Second World War governments undertook greater responsibility and determination to eliminate poverty, so that the common platform set to rebuild Europe with the Marshall Plan and set Millennium Development Goals 2000-2015.

In the world over 80% of people live with less than $ 10 per day, 25 thousand children die every day due to poverty, 12.3 million people are victims of forced labor and 186 million are unemployed. Macedonia is also covered by these trends, according to the UN (United Nations), 50% of the population live in some sort of poverty and despite this discouraging figure it is considered that certain social groups are particularly exposed to poverty when compared to the other. [1]

The Republic of Macedonia, inevitably is part of this process, and for these reasons it has a strategy for reducing the poverty. Nevertheless, despite the adoption of the strategy, there was an upward trend of the poverty by 4% in 1990, that reached to 30.4% in 2011. This situation indicates that there is a need of adjusting the lifestyle of the population according to the minimum conditions. Learning a new way of living with fewer opportunities and limitations is a difficult and painful process for the individuals and the families.

However, part of the Macedonian citizens has been living for long time in poor conditions and I can say that they “got used” to it. I talk about the Roma community, which is a synonym for successful survival in poor substandard living conditions. Therefore, considering the growing trend of poverty in the world and in Macedonia it is time to set up reverse thesis that in terms of increased poverty there is no need to “integrate” the Roma community in the current social trends. Conversely, the new generation of poor people should be integrated and taught by the example of the Roma community. In this short analysis I will give some examples of how the new poverty in Macedonia can be adjusted or integrated to the lifestyle of the Roma community.

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The global economic crisis that hit Europe in 2008 worsen the prospective for employment of minorities in the labor market across South East Europe (Bartlett & Uvalic, 2013). The expansion of the crisis change the behavior of all stakeholders - governments began to intervene in the banking system, global consumption declined, while the private sector began to fire workers. The lessons learned from the economic crisis in the past teach us that poverty, unemployment and the hostility among people increase. In this context, the labor market is the main target of the private sector, which provides interventions such as reducing wages and layoffs usually directed to specific ethnic, gender, age or religious group.

There is no doubt that discrimination of Roma exist in the education and labor market, which in large part can explain the employment gap between Roma and Non – Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. Few studies, (Kahanec, Messing, Fabo, & Brozovicova, 2012), (Kezdi & Kertesi, 2010), (O'Higgins, 2012) decompose the employment gap and conclude that discrimination has significant impact on the explanation of unemployment level among Roma. Even though, these studies confirm that the discrimination in the labor market occur, in many cases is difficult to determine and hence react in cases where it appears. Nevertheless, these attempts to establish a link between the discrimination and unemployment provide little information of the channels of discrimination in the labor market.

Therefore the primary focus of this paper is to demonstrate the patterns of discrimination in the labor market in Macedonia from an economic point of view. Particularly, through the economic models of discrimination I argue that Roma are unequally treated in the labor market, both in the private and public sector.

The relationship between money and politics is inevitable, widespread and probably endless. In this regard, such a relationship is logical given the fact that political parties need money to participate in politics and maintain cohesion among the party members. The position of holding the power in the society that is given to the political parties, demands also a certain extent of responsibility and accountability towards its constituency (Carey & Reynolds, 2007). Therefore, the way in which political finances affect the relationship of political parties, and their members, constituents and the general public is essential for the quality of democracy functioning (Burnell, 1998). As such, political finances sustain and enhance the political debate and stimulate the internal democracy within the party.

In this context, the political parties in Macedonia follow the well-known pattern between money and politics - access to political power facilitates access to money, and access to money buys political influence. Frequently, governing parties use the administrative resources—state powers and funds in “rewarding allies” and “punishing opponents”. Until now, the political battle in Macedonia is between the two biggest Macedonian and Albanian parties. The other small parties (including the Roma ones) are the “outside players”, usually joining the coalition government. It follows that the small political parties are just illustrative marionettes of the bigger parties, even though they can be a game changer during the elections (local or presidential). Although the small political parties manifest monopolistic power within the party (all the power is in the arms of the leader) they do not know to use their power or are limited in practicing it within the coalition government.

Regarding the role and responsibility of the Roma parties in the current coalition government in Macedonia, this analysis indicates the imbalance between the exercises of their political power given the financial opportunities. In other words, this means that Roma political parties take the legitimacy from the Roma electorate while the roles and responsibilities are delegated by the coalition parties in the government. Hence, it appears that the "greater responsibility" of Roma political parties and the weak financial power results in reduced credibility in the Roma community. In the case of the Roma political parties, promises are determined by the major coalition partners and serve their interests. These developments point out that Roma political parties have post – election agreements for sharing the financial "cake” after the election. However, typically the position of political parties is determined from the costs-benefit logic, calculation the future benefits (power, authority, positions in public administration, public policies) with their costs (administration, political campaigns)

Therefore, in this analysis we argue that party financing has a crucial role in the internal democratization of the Roma political parties and contributes to better practice of their power in the coalition government. Furthermore, this analysis provides an analytical framework through which party finance can be analyzed and propose strategies for financing the Roma political parties.

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