Remittances of foreign workers

Remittances sent by migrants back to their home countries are increasing rapidly world-wide. In the EU alone, these transfers now amount to some 50 bln € per year. The reasons for this are twofold: the increasing degree of liberalization allows more migrants to work abroad, while the non-decreasing wealth and prosperity gap in Europe motivates people to use these opportunities.
In absolute terms, Poland profits the most with some 7.5 bln €, but large sums also flow to Russia (5 bln €), Romania (3.8 bln €), and Serbia (3.3 bln €). In some countries, remittances by emigrants constitute an important part of their national economies. For example in Kosovo, remittances account for 16% of the total gross domestic product, in the countries of the former Yugoslavia they represent between 3 and 8%.
The main beneficiaries of remittances are foreign workers’ family members, whose purchasing power is often massively boosted. For instance in Lithuania, the average per capita remittance benefit is nearly 580 € per capita. This value is similarly high in Kosovo, at 570 € per capita per year, as well as in Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia. In Greece, the flow of remittances has decreased sharply down to just around 140 € per person per year, which has barely any effect on purchasing power.