Nadire Redjepi

Nadire Redjepi

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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