General characteristics of the external migration from Međimurje in Central European countries
This article analyzes the current external migration of population from Međimurje county to the countries of Central Europe - Austria, Germany and Switzerland, in the period after the Second World War, especially after 1961. After the World War II, the Međimurje county was among the first in the former country to experience trends in the external migration of labour due to high economic underdevelopment, the inability of employment in Međimurje county, etc. The impact on the external migration towards the researched European countries had the geographical proximity and relatively good transport connections, historical-political and economic relations of mentioned countries with Croatia and individual personal contacts with relatives or friends abroad as active participants in creating a network of mutual connectivity in the areas of residence and work. The research results show that workers from Međimurje county doing temporary work abroad, who mainly acquired the conditions for retirement, return to the place of origin where they build houses, catering facilities, invest in the local infrastructure, entrepreneurships etc. and thus significantly contribute to the transformation of Međimurje settlements.
KEY WORDS: Međimurje county, external migration, returnees, transformation of Međimurje settlements