Saturday 29 September 2018

EU says it wants to increase (not decrease) migration into Europe

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Greek conservative who is European Union Commissioner for Migration, told the United Nations General Assembly on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration on Wednesday that the European Union is working to “enhance legal pathways” to mass migration, to comply with the Global Compact for Migration, and to take many more legal immigrants from outside Europe. 

This compact is intended by the UN to be a "non-legally binding, cooperative framework" for dealing with mass migration. A draft version claims that very large movements of people across borders are “inevitable, necessary, and desirable”. 

The draft was approved in July by all UN member nations except the U.S., which withdrew from the scheme after Mr Trump became President, and Hungary. 

The Hungarian Foreign Minister said:
Its main premise is that migration is a good and inevitable phenomenon. We consider migration a bad process, which has extremely serious security implications.

I am sure most Europeans and almost all Eastern Europeans agree with Hungary on this (a  British Future report in 2014 showed that 25% of respondents in Britain wanted all immigrants expelled and another 23% did not answer the question). However, the European Commission's policy document on migration, produced at the Salzburg Conference two weeks ago, takes a very different view and is here. Here is a quotation:
However, at the moment the EU is not ideally placed nor presently equipped to attract the labour migrants that it needs. So far, the EU has been less competitive than other OECD countries – the EU's most obvious competitors in terms of economic profile – in attracting workers, punching well below its weight, in particular in terms of attracting highly skilled migrants. Of all migrants residing in OECD countries in 2015-16, only 25% of those with a high level of education chose an EU destination, while 75% chose a non-EU destination (mainly US, Canada, Australia), see Chart below.

Image result for Distribution of foreign-born residents with low versus high level of education, by OECD destination countries, 2015-16, in %

Over the last few years only around 50,000 workers per year have been admitted under highly skilled schemes (Blue Card or national schemes), which represent 5% of all work-related permits. In relative terms, this is much less compared to other OECD countries such as the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Currently, the number of third-country nationals admitted in the EU under schemes for highly-skilled workers represents around 0.01% of the EU’s total population, while in Canada the 150,000 economic migrants arriving each year make up around 0.4% of the total population and the 120,000 economic migrants coming to Australia each year make up around 0.5% of the population (in those two countries, most of long-term economic migrants are admitted under "Expression of Interest" systems). This shows that Europe's legal migration policies have not been particularly strategic and pro-active, nor particularly in tune with its labour market needs.


  1. One thing that is clear, I think, is that the USA is overall getting more educated immigrants than the EU. Actually, everyone is.