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Flows and Cohesion: Balancing Capabilities Across an Expanded Union

Kale, D   Little, SE

Mobilities   2 (1) 99-108

February 2007   (Version of record first published February 2007)

Until recently the flow of skilled workers to established centres from more peripheral regions was seen as a 'brain drain', implying a one-way and permanent loss of skilled labour. However, increasing mobility and connectivity permits more complex traffic between more and less advanced locations. With the emergence of a global economy dependent on flows of material and intellectual capital, the notion of 'brain circulation' has gained prominence. Understanding the potential benefits of migration to both donor and recipient economies must move beyond financial remittance to social remittance. As connectivity increases, both become capacity-building resources. This article discusses the impact of a combination of greater physical mobility and electronic connectivity on the dual objectives of social cohesion and technical leadership being pursued through the policies of the European Commission.