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