The atmosphere of stereotypes and other obstacles, the staring and the judging looks; the status quo; the survival – these are the real reasons for the escape of young people.

Risto Savevski

Yes, that is the general perception of the whole society about the plans for the future of young people in Macedonia.

If we take into account the statistics and figures, that in the last 20 years 154 thousand young people have emigrated, this tendency is confirmed. However, it is necessary to get into the essence and understand the reasons, factors, challenges, opportunities and perspectives of the youth in Macedonia. At the same time, we need to answer the question: what role does the state play in this, and what is the role of the whole society?

One of the biggest challenges is the lack of opportunities. Apart from the lack of professional opportunities, there is another side that lends more weight to the argument. Injustice and mistrust in the system. Any hope and expectation of justice as a product of the institutions becomes doubtful. And what is happening with the positive values of action on which the young people were brought up and taught? After completing secondary education, young people face a harsh reality. A reality that means that everything they learned in the school desks until yesterday, today they have to forget; because the system works differently.

Aside from the lack of opportunities and distorted values, young people are aware and informed about the things happening around them. However, the stereotypes about youth inexperience and lack of interest still prevail. Hence, these phenomena of apathy are stimulated.

An additional challenge can be posed by our society’s tendency to gravitate toward the status quo. Servility and conformism are proving to be successful recipes, so every new idea should be ‘nipped in the bud’. These are successful recipes, but for survival, not progress.

Added value to all these challenges is the absence of any real strategy and plan of the state for the development of any social sphere. As a matter of fact, the state is also holding on tight to the mission of status quo and survival.

On the other hand, Macedonia is still a developing country. Hence, every sphere has room for innovation and change by young people who are a source of innovation and creativity.

Young people also tend to be more adaptable and open to change. In a rapidly changing world, the ability to adapt and embrace new technologies and methodologies can be a key driver of development.

Finally, is the state to blame for all this? Maybe yes. Mostly for the part for which it is responsible: quality education, scholarships and exchanges, programs and skills training… But what role does the whole society play?

Yes, young people are running away, but not only because they lack opportunities and quality of life. There is also the atmosphere of stereotypes and other obstacles, the staring and the judging looks; the status quo; the survival. These are the real reasons for the escape of young people. And for how long will we allow for our geniuses to become foreigners?


Risto Savevski, president of the Youth Open Forum