FFE Magazine

EU says migrants help boost region’s Economy

by FFE EU News Staff

 

EU says migrants help boost region’s Economy

Swiss cap on migration prompts debate on EU free movement policy and its effects.

 

Days after the controversial decision by Switzerland to put a quota on migration, the EU Commission (EC) released their study that outlines the benefit of integration and free movement.

 

The EC’s 2014 report ‘Evaluation of the impact of the free movement of EU citizens at local level’ studied the impact of EU residents in the economy of the cities Lille, Barcelona, Hamburg, Prague, Turin and Dublin. The report concluded that the influx of migrants helped boost the cities’ coffers and brought other economic benefits.

 

Migrants have also filled up existing gaps in labour and created new businesses, which was crucial especially in those cities that faced an aging population. EC Justice commissioner Viviane Reding said ‘Free movement is a benefit for Europe, its citizens and its economies.

 

‘There can indeed be challenges in some cities which need to be addressed. It would, however, be the wrong response to question the right to free movement.’

 

Some of the other main conclusions the study arrived at are:

  • EU migrants are on average younger and more economically active than the local population
  • EU migrants mainly move for job opportunities
  • The migrants either fill in lower ranks in  the labour market or set up new businesses
  • The migrants are likely to be more skilled than their local counterparts, but nevertheless they are underemployed
  • EU migrants often earn less than nationals who are in the same position
  • EU citizens often do not receive the same amount of social benefits despite paying the same amount of taxes as nationals

 

The report was presented on Tuesday in a meeting of 100 representatives from local offices around Europe.

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