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The European Unions’ External Labour Migration Policy: Rationale, Objectives, Approaches and Results, 1999–2014
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0497-473X
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The EU’s declared need for third country labour migrants is not just any type of need. According to most estimates put forward by the EU (but also by the UN and other organizations) the figures range in the tens of millions for the coming five decades. In its 2005 ‘Policy Plan on Legal Migration’, the European Commission (2005a: 4) warns that unless the EU manages to increase labour immigration the EU’s working age population is expected to contract by some 52 million by 2050. Furthermore, as is underscored in the Commission’s ‘2012 Ageing Report’, looking only to 2020 the EU would need a net migration of 25 million in order to keep the working - age population stable at current level. This means that the Union would have to net an additional 11 million migrants to the already projected 14 million (EC [European Commission] 2012a: 51 – 6). This provided, economic growth and migration growth have become two sides of the same coin in the EU’s economic and political ambition s. This was made clear already in the Lisbon Strategy (2000 - 2010) and now constitutes one of the cornerstones of ‘Europe 2020’, the EU’s current ten - year plan for growth (EC 2010a: 18; EC 2011a: 4). From the perspective of the Commission, a large - scale increase in labour migration has become so urgent that the then Home Affairs Commissioner referred to it as a matter of ‘our economic survival’ (Malmström 2010).

The ways in which Brussels goes about this urgent under taking is the topic of this paper. It focuses on the Commission’s current approach to external labour migration (ELM), its overarching rationale, core objectives and the practical ways and means by which Brussels seeks to build common EU policy in the area, often against the wishes of intransigent governments in the Council. Consequently, a substantial part of this paper will be devoted to the EU directives relating to ELM that have been adopted so far, accounting for their content as well as analysing how they correspond to the Commission’s objectives.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Paris: OECD Publishing, 2015. , 28 p.
, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, ISSN 1815-199X
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117498OAI: diva2:808681


Available from: 2015-04-29 Created: 2015-04-29 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved

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Hansen, Peo
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Department of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and SciencesREMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

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