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#EPPLocalDialogue: ”From Brain drain to Brain gain” – hosted by Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca. What are the key issues and future solutions for the young generations



© EPP CoR- Twitter

Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca and member of the European Committee of the Regions, hosted in Brussels the debate ”From Brain drain to Brain gain”.

This EPP Local Dialogue looked into what the EU can do for its citizens to transform ‘brain drain’ into a ‘brain gain’ – an opportunity for both the receiving communities and the places of origin.

During the debate the audience has exhanged views with Dubravka Šuica, (EPP/HR), Commissioner-designate responsible for Democracy and Demography will also atend the event, Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, EPP CoR Member Esther de Lange, (EPP/NL), Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the EPP Group, Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Member of the European Parliament, REGI Vice-Chair

First Part

Second Part

The debate was moderated by Dan Carbunaru Calea Europeana.

This event has been broadcasted LIVE on CaleaEuropeană.ro and on Calea Europeană Facebook Page on December 5th.


Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca – Brain drain is becoming more and more important for the European Union

© Calea Europeană

© EPP CoR- Twitter


Brain drain is becoming more and more important for the European Union and if we are not going to discuss to tackle and to find common solutions together, these brain drain can affect, even the future of the European project. There is no magical solutions. We have to work together and everyone has to do their own job first. Working in partnership with European Union, we have the best content in order to tackle the brain drain problem. 

In his presentation, Emil Boc referred to Cluj-Napoca, ”the most friendly city in Europe with foreign citizens” that tries to improve the quality of life day by day.


Dubravka Šuica,  Commissioner-designate responsible for Democracy and Demography – ”brain drain” is one of the key issues that I intend to focus on in the next five years

© Calea Europeană

© EPP CoR – Twitter


”As the commissioner in charge of demography, brain drain is one of the key issues that I intend to focus on in the next five years. Brain drain phenomenon, really can pause the European Union. We have to think about measures which we can put in place to retain attract or regain a highly educated workforce, because local authorities are the ones most affected with the consequences of the brain drain. In order to tackle the ”brain drain”, we need tailor-made solutions to attract, and retain the workforce and reduce disparities across the EU. Cohesion funds play a crucial role in supporting regions to cope with #braindrain and creating social & economic stability for the citizens.”



Esther de Lange, (EPP/NL), Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the EPP Group – We need to focus on providing a good quality of life as a reason to return

© Calea Europeana

© Esther de Lange – Twitter


”We are focusing very much now on the issue of brain drain and brain gain between countries within the EU, but of course there’s an underlying challenge that we have as an EU as a whole. I think it’s so incredibly important that not only we have a vice president thatis dealing with demography, and democracy in the link between the two. We need to focus on providing a good quality of life as a reason to return, concept of smart villages – based on the right infrastructure, telemedicine, 5G – can help keep people in our rural areas.”



Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw – Brain drain, one of the biggest nightmares that we have to confront 

© Calea Europeana


”Brain drain sounds dramatic and  sounds like one of the biggest nightmares that we have to confront. When you look at the brain drain and the people who emigrate in the past two years to Britain they are highly qualified and of course, we’ve heard about doctors, nurses, and so on. We all do have these problems, but to be absolutely honest with you, the problem is also internal.”

© EPP CoR-Twitter


How to deal brain drain?

”Obviously focusing on the things which are most important for the people, which is, most of all, the infrastructure and the quality of life, because that’s what the people expect right now.”



Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Member of the European Parliament, REGI Vice-Chair – Competition between countries and regions is natural. More focus on brain gain

© Calea Europeana

“Competition between countries and regions is natural; people moving around Europe can make our Union stronger and more united. I’m afraid I’m going to be the only one that I don’t see this as a dramatic situation. I know that cities have to compete, and I know that regions have to compete.  It has always happened in order to go to the cities where you have more opportunities where you can have a better quality of life.

© EPP CoR- Twitter

Of course people always look for the best, and it’s good that cities and member states and regions to compete among themselves to see which is more attractive, and I think that’s something good. We need to be an open European Union to keep the best people living in different places. So, I truly believe we’re looking at from the wrong perspective.”



Brain drain – the loss of an educated and skilled workforce – is a challenge affecting local communities and regions, but also member states and the European Union as a whole.

In 2017, approximately 4.2 million EU citizens aged between 15 and 64 with a tertiary education were residing in an EU country other than their country of citizenship. Every citizen is concerned: from the worker in constructions to researchers who are able to move within the EU. 

EPP Local Dialogues are a series of events organised across Europe, bringing citizens and EPP leaders together to discuss European policies of local interest and gathering people’s expectations on the ground.

Also on CaleaEuropeană.ro: Opinion in SEDEC Commission on “Brain drain in the EU: addressing the challenge at all levels”, presented by Emil Boc, was unanimous adopted



Diana Zaim este foto jurnalist, câștigătoare a Premiul Publicului la European Youth Event 2020, cel mai mare eveniment pentru tineri organizat de Parlamentul European. Absolventă a secției germană-portugheză în cadrul Universității din București, Diana urmează în prezent programul de master ”Relații Internaționale și Integrare Europeană” în cadrul SNSPA. Pasionată de promovarea valorilor europene, Diana este parte a comunității Model European Union, cea mai amplă simulare la nivel european a procesului decizional din cadrul Uniunii Europene.


MEP Vasile Blaga: The crisis in Afghanistan, especially in its social dimension, must have a firm response from the EU



© Vasile Blaga/Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) argues that the current crisis in Afghanistan must be a priority on the agenda of the European institutions, which have resumed their work after the summer break.

In a statement for CaleaEuropeană, MEP Vasile Blaga said that the crisis in Afghanistan, especially in its social dimension, “must have a clear and firm response from the European Union.”

“The European Parliament has put the crisis in Afghanistan on its agenda this session. I expect that all the debates on the situation in Afghanistan will lead to solutions to the serious humanitarian situation that is about to unfold in Afghanistan. The EU, but also the Member States, owe a debt of gratitude to Afghan citizens who suddenly see their security and that of their families threatened”, added the EPP MEP.

The European Union this week began discussing the implications of recent events in Afghanistan for security and migration within the 27-nation Union.

The Foreign Affairs Committee, Development Committee and Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Afghanistan will hear from Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service, who will present an assessment of the latest developments in Afghanistan. European Commission representatives are also expected to address MEPs.

Afghanistan has been rocked by deadly violence and a brutal terror attack against Kabul airport over the past few days, in the midst of U.S. and international troops evacuating from the country by 31 August.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: EU response to future health crises and progress of national recovery and resilience plans, important issues on EP agenda



MEP Vasile Blaga  (EPP) argues that the September plenary session of the European Parliament should debate as a priority the EU’s instruments in the face of health and humanitarian crises, as well as the progress of National Recovery and Resilience Plans.

According to the MEP, the European Parliament is putting on the agenda extremely important issues for the future of the Union.

„I believe that an EU response to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic is vital. The future of the Union must find us prepared for potential health threats similar to the coronavirus pandemic. We can all see that a health emergency of the scale of the present one can only be managed by joint measures taken by all Member States. This unfortunate experience of the last two years has shown us the fragility of the EU in the face of external health threats. We need to learn from this so that the negative social and economic effects will not be repeated in the future”, said Vasile Blaga in a statement to CaleaEuropeană.

A second priority, says the EPP MEP, is linked to an accelerated recovery of the EU economies: “National recovery and resilience plans must be urgently adjusted and approved so that investment policies become engines of development in each Member State and, as a whole, kick-start the EU economy as a whole. The European Parliament must closely follow, also during this session, the progress of the national recovery plans and the way each Member State spends the money allocated by the NRRP to achieve the objectives listed in the Recovery and Resilience Facility”, added Vasile Blaga.

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After working on infrastructure projects for NASA and the British Air Force F-35 aircraft, Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure will modernize Campia Turzii Air Base, together with the consortium represented by Leviatan Design



©️ Forțele Aeriene Române

The British company Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, with extensive experience in the field of infrastructure and logistics projects of the British Royal Air Force and with collaborations at NASA level, will participate as a subcontractor in the infrastructure project in the operational area of the air base at Câmpia Turzii, according to the announcement on the public procurement platform SICAP.

The British company Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, with extensive experience in the field of infrastructure and logistics projects of the British Royal Air Force and with collaborations at NASA level, will participate as a subcontractor in the infrastructure project in the operational area of the air base at Câmpia Turzii, according to the announcement on the public procurement platform SICAP.

The tender for the first phase of the project, worth 514 million lei, on “Realization of infrastructure – operational area in barracks 1833 Câmpia Turzii” was won by the joint venture Telekom Romania Communications SA – Ubitech Construcții SRL – Petrodesign SA and Leviatan Design SRL, as leader of this partnership.

“Our consortium has the necessary experience, both from a national perspective, through similar specific projects it has carried out, and from an international perspective, through the partners we collaborate with”, said Cătălin Podaru, director of Leviatan Design, the company that participated in the pre-feasibility study for the multi-roller infrastructure at Câmpia Turzii.

Among the key international partners involved in the Câmpia Turzii project is Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, part of the Lagan Construction Group Ltd, established in 1962. The Brits build infrastructure to the highest safety standards for Romania’s most important strategic-military partners: Among the most recent major British-managed projects are aviation projects at Dublin Airport and RAF Marham, an important strategic base for the British Royal Air Force, for the operation of F35 multi-role aircraft. The contract to upgrade infrastructure and facilities at RAF Marham is worth £135 million.

Recently, the company has successfully delivered projects at Heathrow, London City Airport, RAF Akrotiri and RAF Gibraltar. In recent years, the company has also executed a £23 million runway resurfacing contract at RAF Northolt.

The group also has a specialist US airport team based in Virginia, Washington DC, currently working at Ronald Reagan National Airport and the Wallops Flight Facility for NASA.

This company’s expertise in infrastructure projects for F-16 aircraft is important for defence projects at Câmpia Turzii, as the Romanian base hosts F-16 aircraft of the Romanian and allied air forces, as well as American MQ-9 Reaper drones.

The Campia Turzii Air Base is one of the key strategic points in Romania’s defence and security infrastructure, being treated as such even by allies. In May this year, the US Air Force announced that the United States will invest $152 million in 15 infrastructure upgrades at Romania’s Câmpia Turzii Air Base.

The first works have already started in May-August 2021. The US Air Force plans to spend $130 million this year on “mission optimisation” at the Romanian air base. This amount is reflected in the Department of Defense budget for this year and represents the largest US military investment in Europe for 2021.

Other new modernisation projects are due to start at the end of 2021.

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