“Migrants needed to fill job shortages in the EU”
Posted by clandestina on 3 December 2011
AFTER years spent trying to build “Fortress Europe” to keep undocumented migrants out of the European Union, Brussels now wants to make it easier for immigrants to get in and boost the 27-member bloc’s economies.
The European Commission is now proposing a new policy on migration and mobility which will benefit both sides of the immigration fence – the EU and the source countries.
Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s home affairs commissioner, said migrants should be able to get visas faster, find jobs matching their skills more easily and send money to family members back home more cheaply.
Her plan calls for closer cooperation with non-EU neighbouring countries, as well as those in Africa and the East, in order to attract more short-term students, researchers and business people and families.
The EU needs immigrant workers to fill gaps of a shrinking workforce.
Cracking open the EU’s door to legal immigration has been on Brussels’ table since 2005 when the commission unveiled plans to lure highly-skilled migrants to the 27-member bloc. In 2007, the commission warned the 27-member bloc will need millions of new workers to compensate for an ageing population.
A common policy on migration will contribute to the EU’s economic growth and competitiveness, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).