Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market BWP - 2003/1
There are various projections concerning the emigration pressure from the accessing countries into the member states of the European Union. The arguments are based mostly on economic considerations supposing that sufficient difference between the economic strength (GDP, wages etc.) of the possible sending and receiving countries would induce considerable migration. Others argue that lessons on previous enlargement experiences of the EU can be of much relevance: the new candidate countries emigration patterns are expected to be similar - or just different - than the previous ones have been. There is not much empirical evidence on East-West labour migration. Mobility under bilateral agreements is a special frame to stimulate the desired labour migration that has gained special importance in the enlargement process of the European Union. The paper is based on empirical research of bilateral labour programmes between Hungary and the countries of the European Union. The present work has been a first attempt to set up and use empirical data to analyse Hungarian labour emigration. We confronted some theoretical considerations concerning bilateral programmes that should influence labour migration into the desired way to the receiving countries with the Hungarian experience of labour migration under the bilateral programmes. We found that programmes were effective to channel labour migration in the desired way. The structure of the labour migration under these programmes coincides, however, the general migration tendencies. Unregulated migration would, presumably, not give a considerable different character to Hungarian labour emigration.