Ghinea acknowledged that the “huge benefits” of EU membership come with the major drawback of a brain drain which has created “huge diasporas” in Italy, Spain, UK and elsewhere in the West.
Bulgaria and Romania see pros and cons since joining EU | Health and fitness
“We are talking about almost 4 million people,” Ghinea said. “It can drive out a lot of young talent that would have been more useful internally.”
More than a million Romanians applied to stay in the UK last year as part of a post-Brexit residency program. The number of Romanian nationals employed in Germany increased from around 88,000 in January 2014 to almost 463,000 in September 2021, according to the Federal Employment Agency of Germany.
Diana Ruseva, 39, who left Bulgaria for London in 2007 to work and study and is among EU citizens who have decided to stay in Britain, said she believed membership in the The EU had produced mixed results for its home country.
“It’s changed a lot, but at the same time it’s not,” she said. “The standard of living has definitely improved by several kilometers. Most people my age have the same standard of living as I do in the UK.
At the same time, underdeveloped infrastructure, perilous roads and cumbersome levels of bureaucracy remain with us and can result in “low levels of stress that you have to deal with on a daily basis,” Ruseva said.