By population (about 22 million inhabitants at the beginning of the millennium), Romaniaranks the ninth in Europe and the second among the EU candidate countries. Like manyother countries
Romania is facing a population diminution, but its labour potential is stillhigh and under-used
. The gap in the demographic transition of over one decade betweenRomania and the European countries makes of Romania an (still) attractive source of younger, high-skilled and relatively cheaper labour force
. The migration for labour fromthe East to the West is favoured by the EU member countries contraryy to the South to North migration of less skilled labour.
But, in turn, Romania is expected to face, especially after 2005, a gradual decrease in the national labour resources, showing major imbalances by age group, which may equally cause demographic, economic andsocial problems. The dramatic change in the population profile at a faster pace than in the developed countriesin the absence of adequate policies will cause alarming economic and social troubles. A society having lessand less young people and more and more old people and being unable to ensure self-generation and necessarywealth becomes a pressure factor in the region with quite unpredictable consequences
.The intergeneration tensions are a real problem in Romania at present. The economic dependence ratio isworsening. Moreover, the children’s education is more and more expensive and the need for the aged population’s health insurance is increasing. The systems of protection of such categories are insufficient under financed and improper to face the present and future challenges, and the household income cannot meet thedeficit.Considering the features of Romania’s population evolution, we try to present the picture of Romania’smedium and long-term labour resources and the possible constraints and required policies for providinghuman resources able to support the economic and social progress and sustainable human development.
“…the OECD calculated that immigration might have to be between five and ten times its current level justto neutralise the economic effects of ageing population. Even today’s inflow is causing political strains, withanti-immigration politicians like France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen, Italy’s Umberto Bossi and the Netherlands’ latePim Fortuyn popping up all over Europe” (The Economist, 17 July, 2003)
The specialist show deep concern about the possible international implications of the population ageing inthe developing countries and under different economic and social conditions. „While the industrialised nationsfirst became richer and then older, the developing countries are becoming older before getting richer” (GroHarlem Brundtland, WHO Director General, as quoted in „The elderly situation over 1990-2002”, NIS,Bucharest, 2003).