EduBourseActualitésJoint Meeting of Employment and Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, 6 December...

Joint Meeting of Employment and Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, 6 December 2007, Brussels

At the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency, a joint meeting of Employment and Justice and Home Affairs will take place on 6 December to hold a policy debate on “Migration, Employment and the Lisbon Strategy”. The Commission will be represented by Vice-President Franco Frattini and Commissioner Vladimir Špidla. The debate will focus on the contribution of migration to the Lisbon Strategy and the issue of illegal employment of migrants. Ministers are expected to provide policy guidance and orientations on the holistic approach to migration management in the light of recently proposed directives on employer sanctions, highly skilled migrants and migrant rights, in view of the December European Council.
In the last 20 years, the size of recorded migration to the EU has substantially increased. Since the 1990s, positive net migration has become the largest component of population change in most Member States, reaching – over the last 5 years – a total of 2 million net migrants per year across the EU. Europe is also experiencing a broadening and diversification in terms of the type of migrants, migration patterns, and in the classification and sending and receiving countries.

Immigration flows to the EU are not likely to diminish in the foreseeable future. The EU is characterised by skill and labour shortages, competition for highly-skilled workforce on a global scale, accelerating demographic change and, in a few years, a shrinking of the EU workforce. At the same time, the EU has to react to increasing pressure from illegal immigration and measures to ensure integration of legal immigrants into society and employment need to be stepped up.

EU Member States face common challenges. Already in November 2004, the Hague Programme recognised that “legal migration will play an important role in enhancing the knowledge-based economy in Europe”. As requested in the Hague Programme, the Commission presented a Policy Plan on Legal Migration in December 2005 which was followed, in July 2006, by a Communication on the future priorities in the field of illegal immigration. The European Council endorsed these two strategic papers and made them an essential part of a comprehensive EU migration policy in December 2006. Moreover, in a Communication of October 2007 on “The European Interest: Succeeding in the Age of Globalisation”, the Commission explains that a new global approach to migration is necessary. To reduce the employment pull factor, the Commission proposed a Directive providing for sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals in May 2007. The Commission has also presented a Communication on undeclared work on 23 October 2007 (See IP/1583/07) which takes stock of the actions undertaken by Member States and proposes a series of actions based on a range of measures.

Against this background, Ministers will discuss a series of concrete questions put to them by the Portuguese Presidency in order to agree on common orientations and policy guidance for future works on labour migration and labour market integration as well as illegal immigration and undeclared work. :

Ministers will discuss a number of concrete measures to increase the labour market participation of migrants, including training, language teaching, recognition of qualifications and social inclusion. The Commission will underline the range of instruments available to foster the integration and employability of migrant workers, including as part of the Lisbon Strategy and the European Social Fund. Measures should target new immigrants as well as those already present in the EU, bearing in mind that people from migrant backgrounds run a higher risk of unemployment and exclusion.

Ministers will also address the issue of how to attract highly skilled workers into the EU in the face of global competition. The Commission will present its initiatives in this field, which are an integral part of the Policy Plan on Migration. In October 2007, the Commission adopted two draft Directives covering conditions for the admission and residence of highly qualified workers and simplified admission procedures and a common set of rights for third-country workers (see MEMO/07/422 & MEMO/07/423). Attention should also be paid to the better anticipation and response to fluctuating demands for highly skilled immigrant workers, and to better predict skills shortages.

Finally, Ministers will discuss measures to reduce the “pull” factors, such as illegal employment which is believed to be a driving force behind illegal immigration. Sanctions, as well as other measures designed to discourage undeclared work, will be considered.

Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
Fondateur de Rente et Patrimoine (cabinet de gestion de patrimoine), Pierre Perrin-Monlouis est un analyste et trader pour compte propre. Il vous fait profiter de son expérience en trading grâce à ses analyses financières et décrypte pour vous les actualités des marchés. Son approche globale des marchés combine à la fois l'analyse technique et l'analyse fondamentale sur l'ensemble des marchés : crypto, forex, actions et matières premières.