Adoption procedures in Bulgaria and Germany: Comparative analysis

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In contrast, a mere 12 per cent of newcomers in the post-accession period — practiced circular migration. The lower incidence of circularity among post-accession migrants compared to that among pre-accession migrants contradicts the expectations shown in the literature.

The vast majority of post-accession migrants do not have the right to permanent residence in Germany and probably do not want to jeopardise it. Another plausible explanation could be that EU accession, which is associated with simplified conditions of residence, changed migration strategies. As permanent residence status could be achieved more easily than in the past, the need to leave Germany after the expiration of a visa or a residence permit was eliminated.

This probably led to an adaptation of migration strategies to the new situation. Findings from the migrant survey in Hamburg pointed to changed migration strategies with regard to circularity under the free-movement regime. A high number of migrants had migrated to Germany before but had settled permanently after EU accession, and a further 82 per cent of those who practiced circular migration settled permanently after The legal need for circular migration in order to comply with residence law regulations fell away due to EU citizenship, which seemed to transform previous circular movements to much more permanent residence in the destination country.

Whether Bulgarian migrants are going to settle in the long run in Germany is hard to predict. Asked about their intention to remain in Germany, many respondents 41 per cent in the survey did not know how long they were going to stay. The high level of uncertainty is in line with findings from other studies about the intention to remain. Of the respondents, 40 per cent intended to stay permanently in Germany and 14 per cent a couple of years, while 5 per cent intended to leave within the next year.

The intention to stay permanently was higher among pre-accession 50 per cent than post-accession migrants 36 per cent. This is not unexpected, as the likelihood of emigration declines with an increasing length of residence because ties to the destination country multiply in line with the duration of residence. Apart from the time frame, the reasons for migration seem to change after and led to a greater predominance of other migration categories than in the past. Changes in migration channels may lead to a substitution of categories, for instance, when there is a lack of channels for low-skilled labour migration, family, asylum or student migration of people, who migrated to work, takes place de Haas Following this assumption about the role of migration channels for migration categories, different categories predominated over time: humanitarian migrants from Bulgaria arrived in Germany mainly in the early s, whereas many educational migrants and temporary workers, in the framework of bilateral agreements, went there in the late s and s.

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Labour migration gained in importance before but not until the post-accession period did it became the predominant migration category, as the survey results revealed. Survey participants were asked about their main reason for migrating to Germany. Self-declared reasons may differ from the actual channel of migration used. For instance, a person might have gone there as an asylum-seeker but might have declared economic reasons as the main migration driver in the questionnaire.

Nevertheless, reasons for migration can be considered, with a high level of confidence, as indicators for migration categories. Looking at the responses of pre-accession and post-accession migrants, a clear shift in migration categories is observed. The share of educational migration dropped considerably from 48 per cent to 14 per cent. Family migration also declined from 21 per cent to 12 per cent. Migration for economic reasons rose substantially from 25 per cent to The main migration categories in the Bulgarian migration pattern were labour migration Compared to EU27 countries in SVR , Bulgarian migrants went to Germany more often for economic 57 per cent of Bulgarian migrants versus 43 per cent of EU27 migrants and educational reasons 23 per cent versus 8 per cent and more rarely to join family members 14 per cent versus 32 per cent.

In spite of the restricted access to the labour market for dependent workers, self-employment was an accessible way to work in Germany. This is reflected in the main activity of migrants in the receiving country. The survey results showed that the share of workers increased from one- to two-thirds, with a high number of self-employed migrants in the post-accession period.

Whereas half of the migrants before were pupils or students, half after were dependent workers. The main migration category for a decade — students — was replaced by workers. Since the early s, the Bulgarian migrant population has been dominated by women. After EU accession, the gender structure changed and the proportion of male migrants rose from 43 per cent in to 54 per cent in Federal Statistical Office — This change in gender composition is due to the rapidly rising immigration of men.

Two-thirds of the newcomers in and , and respectively of the net migration, were men Federal Statistical Office — A clear shift in the age structure of the Bulgarian migrant population occurred. The relevance of two age groups increased: children aged under 15 and persons of working-age, i. The group of young people aged 15 to 25 who accounted for almost 30 per cent in dropped to 14 per cent in Federal Statistical Office — Two developments contributed to these shifts. On the one hand, more children were born in Germany than in the past Federal Statistical Office — On the other hand, student migration lost its leading position as a main migration channel for Bulgarian citizens.

Whereas in the past it was easier to obtain a residence status for educational than for economic purposes, which triggered the migration mainly of young people, the free movement of persons attached to EU citizenship opened up further opportunities, particularly for labour and family migration, practised by those of working age. Changes took place in the qualification structure of the Bulgarian migrant population.

In the proportion of university graduates among Bulgarian and Romanian newcomers to Germany accounted for two-thirds and that of persons without vocational training for one eighth. Both institutional and economic conditions influence employment opportunities and thus the qualification structure of migration. The transitional periods for the free movement of workers led to a concentration of migrants in certain types of employment such as seasonal work and self-employment. Illegal work and legal and semi-legal activities such as posted work and bogus self-employment became coping strategies for overcoming the restricted right to work by transitional arrangements Cyrus At more than 25 per cent, the self-employment rate of Bulgarian migrants was extremely high Schaland As a rule, high-skilled migrants migrate first and are later followed by low-skilled migrants Stark, Wang Considering the recent nature of Bulgarian migration to Germany, which has been evolving since the early s, the increasing relevance of low-skilled persons is consistent with theoretical expectations about migration.

In spite of this growth in the migration of persons with low education, the qualification structure of the overall Bulgarian migrant population was more favourable; 23 per cent of Bulgarian citizens in Germany in had a low educational level whereas the vast majority had medium 43 per cent or high 34 per cent educational levels Holland et al. In comparison to other EU member states, Bulgarian migrants in Germany were highly skilled and worked in occupations which, to a large extent, corresponded to their qualification Holland et al.

Results from the migrant survey in Hamburg are consistent with the transforming structure of the Bulgarian migrant population. As administrative data indicate, after this population in Germany became more diverse in its main socio-demographic characteristics of age, gender and education. Post-accession migration, characterised by a dominance of male migrants, is mirrored in the gender structure of the sample: 57 per cent male and 43 per cent female respondents.

The vast majority of the respondents 88 per cent were of working age, 25—64 years, but no children under 15 were included in the sample. The proportion of university graduates was higher among pre-accession Correspondingly, the sample comprises As the administrative data do not provide information on ethnic groups, no official data on the ethnic composition of Bulgarian migration were available.

Apart from the majority of the Bulgarian population of so-called ethnic Bulgarians, there are two big ethnic groups: Turks, accounting for 10 per cent of the population and Roma, who make up 5 per cent. With the aim of finding empirical evidence of this issue, participants in the migrant survey in Hamburg were asked about their religion and language skills. Persons with Turkish language skills or who were Muslims were considered to belong to the Turkish ethnic group, whereas those with Romanes language skills were deemed to belong to the Roma ethnic group.

Those who only had Bulgarian language skills and were of Orthodox religion were considered to belong to the majority group of ethnic Bulgarians. As Table 1 shows, whereas pre-accession migration was clearly dominated by Bulgarian-speaking persons at 84 per cent, the group made up only 53 per cent of post-accession migrants. Turkish-speaking migrants gained in importance in the post-accession period, when their proportion increased from 14 to 38 per cent.


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Similarly, more people in the Romanes-speaking group migrated in the post- rather than pre-accession period 3 and 8 per cent respectively. The second variable of ethnic belonging — religion — points to a similar trend. Whereas the pre-accession period was clearly dominated by Christian-Orthodoxy — the main religion of ethnic Bulgarians — the relevance of Muslims increased in the post-accession period. Both indicators of belonging to an ethnic group reveal an increasing relevance of ethnic minorities in the post-accession period.

Despite this, the vast majority of migrants were still ethnic Bulgarians. The share of the Turkish ethnic group in the Bulgarian migrant population in Hamburg was deemed to be between As expected, given the large Turkish community in Germany which may attract migrants from the same background, an over-representation of the Turkish ethnic group in relation to their share in the total Bulgarian population is found.

Both administrative and survey data showed that the composition of migration changed after The increase in male and low-skilled migration could, to a great extent, be attributed to labour market opportunities which became available following the acquisition of EU citizenship. During the transitional periods, it was mainly men and those with low educational levels who were attracted by the free movement of workers from to , and self-employment in the construction sector and seasonal work.

Thus restricted EU citizenship during the transitional periods seems to have impacted on the profile of new migrants. Bulgarian migration to Germany is a relatively new phenomenon that emerged during the Cold War but developed mainly in more recent times after It can be divided into five periods: the Cold War period, the transition period, the visa-requirement period, and the EU pre- and post-accession periods. Over time Bulgarian migrants have used a mixture of migration channels to move to and settle in Germany.

The predominant channels were asylum policy in the s, education policy in the s and s, visa policy which prevented legal migration and encouraged irregular migration in the s, visa policy which facilitated regular migration in the s and the free-movement policy with its restricted freedom to work after Migration patterns, i.

The scale of migration rose rapidly, thus supposing an accelerating effect of EU accession on migration dynamics. However, other factors such as the redirection of migration after the economic crisis of and the legalisation of irregular migrants appear to have greatly contributed to the rapidly increasing scale of migration from to The expectation of immense new emigration flows from Bulgaria seems not to be sustainable and to have opposed the accelerating effect of EU accession in the initial phase after status acquisition.

With regard to the duration of migration, the expectation that there would be increased temporary migration under a regime of free movement was confirmed.

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Remarkably, contrary to assumptions, circular migration declined. This can be explained by changed migration strategies as a result of EU accession. EU citizenship abolished the requirement for a residence permit, so that the legal need for circular migration fell away and paved the way for more permanent residence and settlement in the long run.

For the first time, labour migration became a predominant form of mobility which can, to a great extent, be related to EU citizenship, which opened up more labour market opportunities for Bulgarian migrants in spite of the transitional periods. Labour migration replaced educational migration as the most relevant category for more than a decade. Nevertheless, the high relevance of educational migration remains a distinctive feature of Bulgarian migration patterns to Germany.

Male and low-skilled migration can be related to the transitional periods which restricted access to the labour market for dependent workers for seven years. Changed migration patterns may, in turn, impact on labour market integration. Changes in the socio-demographic characteristics of the migrants, in particular, may reshape their overall integration situation. At the same time, limited economic opportunities through transitional arrangements for the free movement of workers hamper labour market participation.

Even though EU citizenship is an inclusive institution at the EU level, its contextualisation in the nation-state in terms of national policies may reduce its potential effects on integration, as is presupposed for the area of labour market integration. With the expiry, as of , of transitional periods in the free movement of workers, a new era of unmanaged migration began which should unfold new migration dynamics, forms and structures of migration from Bulgaria to Germany.

This new phase should show more sustainable trends with regard to the relation between freedom of movement and migration patterns. It is even probably the oldest migration pattern which can be traced back to the nineteenth century, although the scale of migration was at a modest level. In the past there had been well-established relations between Germany and Bulgaria and Bulgarian citizens went to Germany to study.

For Bulgarian citizens, the agreement on seasonal work contained only two sectors — hotel and restaurants — in which workers might be employed for up to six months. There was no annual quota. Probably inflows of individuals with a short period of stay are less covered, leading to lower numbers compared to data from the population projections of the Federal Statistical Office Brenke, Neubecker Apart from those registered with the local registration offices, which is compulsory for everyone in Germany irrespective of citizenship, unregistered migrants were also captured.

However, as people aged 15 to 24 are often engaged in education, they are considered as a separate group of young people. The working-age population in this article is defined as those aged 25 to Apap J. What About the Neighbours? Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies. Baio G.


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