EU seeks to reverse E. Europe brain drain
(RIGA) - EU regional policy commissioner Johannes Hahn said Friday that the bloc should come up with a way of reversing a brain drain in eastern Europe.
He said after talks with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis that they had floated the idea of pilot programme to encourage top researchers and scientists from the region to return rather than be forced to work abroad.
The aim would be to use the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund to try to offer scientists attractive posts in their home countries.
"Tackling migration should be one of the main focuses of the next financial year in countries like Latvia," Hahn added.
The Baltic nation, which won a 7.5-billion-euro bailout from the IMF and EU in 2008, is recovering from a deep slump which saw its economy shrink by a cumulative 25 percent from the start of the global economic crisis.
Dombrovskis -- himself a former physicist who has worked in Germany -- introduced stringent austerity measures to put the economy back on track and gross domestic product grew 5.5 percent in 2011.
Unemployment however is still hovering around 14 percent.
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