OECD ex­pert says EU needs to do more to sup­port mi­gra­tion and mo­bil­ity in Europe

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Gabriel Schem­bri

Jonathan Chaloff, a mi­gra­tion pol­icy ex­pert at the In­ter­na­tional Mi­gra­tion Divi­sion for the OECD, said that the EU needs to do more to sup­port mi­gra­tion and mo­bil­ity in Europe. He said that one should keep in mind that the work­ing age pop­u­la­tion in Europe is ex­pected to de­crease by 5 to 6% in the next five years. He said that this is a prob­lem across all of the EU mem­ber states.

Speak­ing dur­ing a sem­i­nar or­gan­ised by the UHM Voice of the Work­ers which fo­cused on the mi­gra­tion of work­ers and mo­bil­ity, Mr Chaloff spoke about the process of re­cruit­ment of mi­grants in Europe.

“Europe re­ceives as many new per­ma­nent im­mi­grants as the United States, but the share which comes from the work­ing force is much lower in Europe,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to stud­ies by the OECD, the higher the ed­u­ca­tion level, the less likely non-EU mi­grants are to live in the EU. The USA still has a huge share of highly ed­u­cated mi­grants.

It ap­pears that Europe is the pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion for sub-Sa­ha­ran, high ed­u­cated mi­grants. He ex­plained that the EU is still strug­gling with re­tain­ing stu­dents who mi­grate to study.

“Peo­ple do not sim­ply choose to mi­grate be­cause of the pol­icy, but mostly be­cause they know they can find a bet­ter qual­ity of life. Safety and se­cu­rity still re­main im­por­tant fac­tors which play a vi­tal role.”

Martina Bel­monte, a PHD can­di­date at the De­part­ment of Public Pol­icy at the Univer­sity of Mi­lan said that 40% of the mi­grants in Europe are labour mi­grants and only 10% are es­ti­mated to be eco­nomic mi­grants.

She ex­plained how the Blue Card Direc­tive came about and said that the re­moval of in­ter­nal borders in the EU has cre­ated a sit­u­a­tion where one coun­try’s de­ci­sion can af­fect the move­ment of peo­ple all over Europe.

The Blue Card Direc­tive came about to tar­get em­ploy­ees, self-em­ployed and sea­sonal work­ers. It aims to help cre­ate cri­te­ria, stan­dards and rights for non-EU ci­ti­zens. Ger­many is­sued the largest num­ber of blue cards with more than 14,000 is­sued.

Ac­cord­ing to an in­dex pre­sented by Ms Bel­monte, Swe­den is the EU coun­try that is most open for the Blue Card scheme. UK is the most re­stric­tive, while Nether­lands and Spain have even more open schemes than the Blue Card.

Pho­to­graph: Jonathan Borg

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