01 Oct 2005

An EU Approach to Labour Migration

What is the Added Value and the Way Ahead?

Marco Formisano / Sergio Carrera

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Series: CEPS Working Paper No: 232
An EU approach dealing with labour migration continues to be the missing element for the establishment of a truly common immigration policy. Until present there has been an unacceptable official reluctance to the liberalisation and adjustment of immigration policies to reflect the realities that the Union is facing. In 2004 the European Commission presented a Green Paper on an EU approach to managing economic migration, which intends to pave the way for an Action Plan to be presented on this issue at the end of this year.
Following the Commission’s Green Paper this working document poses the question: What is the added value of an EU approach to labour migration? As the paper argues, a common approach is highly necessary in light of economic efficiency and social cohesion, and in order to provide an answer to some of the challenges that migration is posing to the receiving societies. Further, economic considerations must not prevail over human ones. The principles of non-discrimination, access to justice, fair treatment and solidarity should be at the roots of any transnational policy response. Finally, a pragmatic and respectful approach should guide the discussions and policy outputs of the current debate on an EU labour migration policy.

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