EU Lawmakers Call for More Legal Migration to Supposedly Stop Illegal Immigration

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2017, file photo, migrants and refugees wait to be helped by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, as they crowd aboard a rubber boat sailing out of control in the Mediterranean Sea about 21 miles north of Sabratha, Libya. A U.N. migration …
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File

Several Members of the European Parliament have suggested that the European Union could reduce illegal arrivals by simply making it far easier for migrants to enter member states legally.

A report published this week by members of the European Union Civil Liberties Committee has demanded the EU allow more people to legally migrate to member states, which it claims would reduce the need for migrants to enter the bloc illegally.

The report also cited the need “to respond to Europe’s demographic challenges and match immigrants’ skills to the needs of the labour market,” and therefore called for the creation of new channels of legal migration.

Among the recommendations in the report are for the EU to create a new programme targeted at low and medium-skilled nationals from outside of the European Union in addition to existing programmes for highly-skilled workers in order to have migrants fill more jobs, a press release on the report states.

“This platform would be a useful tool both for those who wish to apply for a job in an EU country and for EU-based employers looking for potential employees from third countries,” Swedish MEP Abir Al-Sahlani, a member of the Centre Party, said.

“A strong and competitive Europe needs labour migration to properly address the demographic and economic challenges facing the Union,” Al-Sahlani added.

Recognition of qualifications of highly skilled migrants is also another issue the report calls for the EU to solve, noting that as of 2019, 48 per cent of highly skilled migrants were working in low to medium-skilled positions, compared to just 20 per cent of EU citizens.

High unemployment among migrants has been an issue in many countries in Europe, particularly since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

In Sweden, for example, the unemployment rate for migrants is several times higher than that of native Swedes, with some blaming language issues as well as a low level of education and marketable skills among migrants.

Last December, Swedish Professor of Economics Mats Hammarstedt rejected the idea that mass migration is beneficial to countries over the long term.

“Every year, the public sector redistributes resources from domestic-born to foreign-born, and the long time it takes for refugee immigrants and their relatives to establish themselves in the labour market means that refugee immigration entails a cost to public finances even long after the refugees have immigrated to Sweden,” Hammarstedt said.

In France, economist Jacques Sapir stated earlier this year that immigration was becoming increasingly costly to the French government budget, saying: “If we attempt an overall assessment… we arrive at levels that are close to -0.7 per cent/-0.8 per cent of GDP per year.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.