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Contemporary Emigration from Croatia to Ireland with a Special Focus on Young People from Slavonia

Marijeta Rajković Iveta ; Odsjek za etnologiju i kulturnu antropologiju, Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Tea Horvatin

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (811 KB) str. 247-274 preuzimanja: 1.084* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Rajković Iveta, M. i Horvatin, T. (2017). Suvremeno iseljavanje iz Hrvatske u Irsku s posebnim osvrtom na mlade iz Slavonije. Migracijske i etničke teme, 33 (3), 247-274.
MLA 8th Edition
Rajković Iveta, Marijeta i Tea Horvatin. "Suvremeno iseljavanje iz Hrvatske u Irsku s posebnim osvrtom na mlade iz Slavonije." Migracijske i etničke teme, vol. 33, br. 3, 2017, str. 247-274. Citirano 20.09.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Rajković Iveta, Marijeta i Tea Horvatin. "Suvremeno iseljavanje iz Hrvatske u Irsku s posebnim osvrtom na mlade iz Slavonije." Migracijske i etničke teme 33, br. 3 (2017): 247-274.
Rajković Iveta, M., i Horvatin, T. (2017). 'Suvremeno iseljavanje iz Hrvatske u Irsku s posebnim osvrtom na mlade iz Slavonije', Migracijske i etničke teme, 33(3), str. 247-274.
Rajković Iveta M, Horvatin T. Suvremeno iseljavanje iz Hrvatske u Irsku s posebnim osvrtom na mlade iz Slavonije. Migracijske i etničke teme [Internet]. 2017 [pristupljeno 20.09.2020.];33(3):247-274.
M. Rajković Iveta i T. Horvatin, "Suvremeno iseljavanje iz Hrvatske u Irsku s posebnim osvrtom na mlade iz Slavonije", Migracijske i etničke teme, vol.33, br. 3, str. 247-274, 2017. [Online].

Following the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (1 July 2013), a trend of emigration to the Republic of Ireland appeared. Using the theory of push and pull factors and the theory of migration systems (cf. Castles, Miller, 2003; Bretell and Hollifield 2000), the aim of the paper was to explore the context and scope of this wave and to find out the reasons why Ireland has become a popular destination for Croatian citizens. After presenting the macroeconomic and macropolitical context, an overview and comparison of statistical data on emigration from Croatia to Ireland, i.e. the entry of Croatian citizens into the Irish labour market, are presented. After that, mediators in the migration process (international employment agencies, former migrants, and social migrant networks, as well as the role of global communication technologies and social platforms) were researched.
The research was conducted from summer 2015 to autumn 2017. The paper is based on ethnological and cultural anthropological qualitative methodology. Ethnographic material, i.e. lived experiences of immigrants, were obtained through face-to-face, semi-structured interviews and virtually – by means of modern technology (Skype conversations, Facebook chats and e-mails). Therefore, field research was also carried out within the contemporary, produced and, in this case, virtual site (cf. Appadurai, 2011: 265). The Croatian Bureau of Statistics annually publishes the report “Migration of the population of Republic of Croatia”. These data reveal that the number of emigrated Croatian citizens has increased since the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union in 2013. Croatia’s net migration rate is becoming more negative every year and, according to the latest data in 2016, amounted to -22,451. That year, 36,436 persons moved abroad – somewhat more men (54.1%) than women (45.9 %). The counties in the Croatian region of Slavonia have the most negative net migration rate (see Migracija stanovništva Republike Hrvatske u 2016. [Migration of Population of Republic of Croatia in 2016], 2017). Considering that the same statistical data show that young people aged between 20 and 34 emigrate the most, migrants from Slavonia in this age group were interviewed for this paper. Although the focus of the research is on the physical territory of Slavonia, this space is also a virtual one, by which we “move away from conventional conceptions of space, turning to social instead of physical space…” (Pleše, 2006: 131). Six young women and four young men were interviewed. Eight of them have university education. They migrated no more than five years ago. The emphasis of the paper is on the ethnography of the particular. We were interested in experiences – how the migrants informed themselves about the possibilities of life and work in Ireland, how and how long had they been preparing for their departure, and what administrative procedures did they go through upon their arrival to Ireland. In addition to these contemporary migrants, we interviewed a migrant who moved from Zagreb to Ireland with her husband in 1998 and since 2013 she has been managing an agency in Dublin through which they find IT professionals from Croatia and mediate in their employment.
The contemporary wave of emigration was stimulated by the macropolitical context (Croatian accession to the European Union and the opening of the labour market) and the macroeconomic context (the economic development of Ireland compared to high unemployment in Croatia, low salaries, negative economic trends, poor entrepreneurial climate, etc.). The research showed very different data on the number of Croatian citizens in Ireland. The data of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics on the migrations of the population are based on the data of the Administrative Affairs Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, the records of the change of residence. The research shows that a small number of migrants have completed this civic duty in practice, but the police department does not insist on this either. Ireland is first mentioned in the same data on the emigration of the population towards destination countries in 2016, with the number of 1915 emigrated Croatian citizens. In contrast, the official Irish website welfare.ei publishes statistics on Personal Public Service Number (PPS). This number is mandatory for anyone who wants to work in Ireland and all the immigrants we interviewed applied for it immediately upon their arrival to Ireland. The oldest data on the mentioned website date from July 2000, and the latest are from October 2017. In that period, 18,278 Croatian citizens applied for the PPS number. After the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, their number increased four times in only one year (2014) and has been increasing continuously since then. During the research, we did not find data on whether these migrants remained living in Ireland permanently.
The microcontext is also exceptionally important for this wave of emigration, especially the networking of migrants and the social migrant network. The research has highlighted the importance of communication technology in generating, transferring and exchanging knowledge between the members of the migration process and in virtual networking. For example, the number of members of the group “Idemo u Irsku” (Eng. Let’s go to Ireland) on Facebook is constantly increasing (19,480 members in 2015, 40,804 members in 2017). Gathering information over the Internet was the initial preparation for migration for almost all of our informants, but many moved with the help of previous migrants or together with others. Migrants considered the experiences of previous migrants to be the most credible information. Apart from the mentioned Facebook group, the role of the mediators that create mesostructures is also visible on the example of the Irish Recruiter employment agencies from Dublin, EURES (European Job Mobility Portal) and the OSMATIZO association (Osijek’s register of emigrants and Osijek citizens employed abroad).
Even though, due to the high unemployment rate in Croatia, which particularly affects young people, some migrants started thinking about leaving already during their education, this desire was turned into reality mostly due to examples from the immediate environment, direct contact with a person who had already emigrated and positive stories heard from friends, fellow citizens and acquaintances. Migrants prepared for the migration briefly – between two weeks and several months. These emigrant experiences demonstrate today’s convenience of migrations, i.e. faster and cheaper travel possibilities and the key role of the ubiquitous global communication (cf. Lewellen 2002: 125,126).
The reasons for this migration wave were viewed as a result of the action of the push and pull factors. For the majority of the interviewees, the main motivation for the departure was economic (inability to find employment in their profession, low salaries, resolving their housing issue, and young couples’ joint life). There are prominent personal psychological dissatisfactions with most of the interviewees, driven by nepotism and corruption at both the local and national level. A negative, almost bitter tone can be observed with two interviewees when they explain the reason for their departure. As the reasons for the migration, migrants also stated: a desire to live in a more liberal environment (with people in same-sex unions, lack of respect for human rights, small conservative environments), curiosity (learning about new cultures and peoples), and opportunities for professional development.
For some migrants, Ireland was the first choice due to topicality, the ubiquity of the subject in the media, friends’ recommendations, positive experiences of former migrants, while for others it was a logical decision after considering more options (Germany, Canada, and Australia). Ireland attracted them due to the possibility of finding employment quickly, the open labour market, simple bureaucratic procedures required for work and life, the English language which they know, transport connections/relative proximity (compared to other continents).
The research was conducted on migrants who emigrated after 2013. These were voluntary migrations of young people, most of whom were highly educated but who, at least initially, were willing to do unqualified and low-rated (typically immigrant) jobs. Future research should include early emigrations and other migrants (e.g. family migrations, highly educated migrants /so-called brain drains/ with specific professions, for whom there are indicators that they work in their professions, etc.).

Ključne riječi
Croats in Ireland; emigration from Slavonia; contemporary emigration; (e)migrant experiences

Hrčak ID: 198697



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