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COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ON A COMMUNITY MIGRATION POLICY

TABLE OF CONTENTS

SUMMARY

1. REASONS FOR A NEW APPROACH TO MIGRATION

2. The Tampere framework for a common EU asylum and migration policy

2.1. Partnership with countries of origin

2.2. A common European asylum system

2.3. Fair treatment of third country nationals

2.4. Management of migration flows

3. STEPS TO A COMMUNITY MIGRATION POLICY

3.1. Effects of the existing migration policies

3.2. Development of a new migration concept

3.3. Framework for an EU migration policy

3.4. Admission of migrants

3.4.1. Assessment of an appropriate level of migration

3.4.2. Establishing a common legal framework for inclusion

3.5. Integration of third country nationals

3.6. Information, research and monitoring

4. CONCLUSIONS AND FOLLOW UP

APPENDIX 1 The Demographic and Economic Context

ANNEX 2 Overview of recent or planned Commission proposals on migration policy

SUMMARY

For the first time, the Treaty of Amsterdam gives the Community competence in the areas of immigration and asylum. The Tampere European Council in October 1999 agreed that "the separate but closely related areas of asylum and migration require the development of a common EU policy" and defined the individual components: partnership with countries of origin , a Common European Asylum System as well as the fair treatment of third-country nationals and the management of migration flows. In this context, the European Council also referred to the need for swift decisions on "the approximation of national laws on the conditions for admission and residence of third-country nationals on the basis of a joint assessment of economic and demographic developments within the Union and the situation in the Union Countries of origin "(paragraph 20 of the Presidency Conclusions). However, it does not elaborate on the way in which this policy is to be developed and implemented.

The Commission has already made proposals on the rights and status of third-country nationals and on combating racism and xenophobia, and further legislative proposals are currently being drawn up in line with the Tampere program (see table in Annex 2). Given the complexity of migration policy and its impact on a wide range of areas - social, economic, legal and cultural - the Commission considers that a single-action approach to the implementation of the legislative program provided for in Article 63 of the EC Treaty is unsuitable. This view is also shared by the European Parliament, which has asked the Commission to embed these measures in a large framework.

As the analysis of the economic and demographic context of the Union and the countries of origin shows, there is a growing awareness that the measures aimed at stopping immigration over the past 30 years no longer correspond to the current situation. On the one hand, numerous third-country nationals have come to the Union in recent years, immigration pressure continues to rise and is increasingly accompanied by illegal immigration, people smuggling and human trafficking. Second, given the continuing shortage of skilled and unskilled labor, several Member States have started to recruit third-country nationals from outside the Union. Against this background, we have to decide whether we want to maintain that the Union must withstand immigration pressures or whether we are ready to accept that immigration is unstoppable and should be properly regulated; The latter requires cooperation with the aim of maximizing the positive effects of immigration for the Union, for migrants and for the countries of origin.

In the light of these new realities, the Commission considers it useful to give migrant workers opportunities to immigrate legally into the Union. Because of the very different positions of the Member States on the subject of admission and integration of third-country nationals, the Commission believes that it is essential to discuss these issues openly and to seek consensus on the objectives of the policy to be pursued. With this communication, the Commission aims to initiate a dialogue to take into account the fundamental structural reforms that the EU economy is undergoing as part of the European Employment Strategy and which are now producing the expected results. The admission of migrant workers can contribute to this strategy, on the importance and extent of which the Member States - because of the difficult human issues that are touched upon - must unequivocally agree.

Both Article 63 of the EC Treaty and the Tampere conclusions call for a common EU migration policy. This goal can only be achieved if the measures currently being carried out by the member states are coordinated within the framework of the Community and in compliance with the requirement of transparency, since they have an impact on other EU policy areas, e.g. the abolition of controls at internal borders, and Community obligations at international level under the GATS Convention and the European Employment Strategy.

Against this background, common targets can be defined for channels for legal immigration, which underpin the detailed proposals for the admission and residence of third country nationals called for by the European Council in Tampere. These deal not only with the conditions for the admission and residence of third-country nationals with regard to employment and other purposes, but also standards and procedures for the issuing of long-term visas and residence permits, the definition of a uniform set of rights for third-country nationals, the criteria and conditions under which third-country nationals could be allowed to settle down and take up employment in any Member State (see Annex 2) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. At the same time, the procedure put in place to monitor migration flows provides a framework for consulting Member States on migration issues, for coordinating policies, setting common goals and developing accompanying measures to integrate migrants. The purpose of this mechanism is to enable the Community to respond in a coordinated manner to fluctuations in migratory pressures as well as changes in economic and demographic conditions in the Union.

1. REASONS FOR A NEW APPROACH TO MIGRATION

With the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, the Community has been given separate competence in the areas of immigration and asylum. Responsibility for developing relevant policies has been transferred from intergovernmental cooperation under the "third pillar" to the "first pillar", with provision for the Council to adopt measures for the gradual development of an area of ​​freedom, security and justice (Article 61 -63). In October 1999 the Tampere European Council therefore set out in its conclusions [1] the elements of a common EU asylum and migration policy which, together with the action plan adopted by the Vienna Council in 1998 [2], form the basis for set up a work program for the Commission and the Member States to be implemented in the "Scoreboard" [3]. This communication forms part of that program, but in many ways the context is very different from the situation in the Union in 1993-94. On the one hand, the importance of immigration and asylum issues at EU level and the need for a common approach is recognized more clearly today than it was a few years ago. This is reflected in the fact that these areas are now dealt with in specific Community policies and no longer merely as a complement to the free movement of persons within the Union. On the other hand - and this is a direct consequence of this - by adopting the Tampere conclusions, the Heads of State and Government clearly defined the political framework within which a common EU asylum and migration policy is to develop.

[1] SN 200/99 (Presidency Conclusions, Tampere European Council, 15 and 16 October 1999).

[2] OJ C19, 23.1.1999.

[3] COM (2000) 167 (Indicator of progress towards the creation of an "area of ​​freedom, security and justice" in the European Union).

The Commission's new communication fits into this framework. Above all, it represents an initial response to the European Council's request to clearly define the conditions for the admission and residence of third-country nationals. As agreed, these should be based on a joint assessment of economic and demographic developments within the Union and the situation in the countries of origin, taking into account the absorption capacity of each Member State and its historical and cultural ties with the countries of origin [4]. Furthermore, an integrated approach to immigration cannot be developed without taking into account the impact of migration policy on host society and the migrants themselves. The social conditions that migrants face, the attitudes of the host population and the way politicians portray the merits of diversity and pluralistic societies are of crucial importance for the success of migration policy. This communication therefore also deals with the directly related area of ​​integration policy in the Tampere framework, namely the fair treatment of third-country nationals legally resident in the Union and the promotion of diversity. In this context, the impact of the Charter of Fundamental Rights will also be examined.

[4] In the Tampere Conclusions, the European Council recognizes that "approximation of national laws on the conditions for admission and residence of third-country nationals based on a joint assessment of economic and demographic developments within the Union and of the situation in the countries of origin "(marginal no. 20).

In order to guarantee the uniform approach adopted in Tampere, the Commission would also like to clarify the question of how the other aspects of a comprehensive migration policy should be included. These include the fight against illegal immigration, relations with the countries of origin and transit and in particular the humanitarian dimension and thus asylum policy, the importance of which has been emphasized repeatedly in recent years and which is the subject of a separate communication from the Commission, which is presented together with this [5]. It also looks at the integration measures that need to be stepped up so that migrants can be quickly integrated into the European population and so that racism and xenophobia can be combated.

[5] COM (2000) ... "For a common asylum procedure and a Union-wide uniform status for those who are granted asylum".

This communication comes at a time when the issue of the EU's role in the field of immigration is particularly important for several reasons. The projected decline in the EU population over the next few decades has attracted public attention. At the same time, labor shortages in some sectors are causing problems in many countries. There is a growing belief that the current zero immigration policies that have dominated thought for the past 30 years no longer fit into this new economic and demographic context.

Programs to legalize illegal immigrants are in place in several Member States, which often lead to lengthy political discussions internally. Tragic events, occurring in almost every Member State, such as the one in Dover in July 2000 when 58 Chinese citizens died trying to enter the UK illegally, show not only the importance of combating trafficking in human beings, but also that one There is a demand for illegal labor and immigrants without residence and work permits are easily exploited. The Commission has also taken note of the discussions launched under the French Presidency, notably at the informal ministerial meeting in Marseilles in July 2000 and at three conferences - on Common Development and Migration (6-7 July); About Illegal Migration Networks (July 20-21); and on the integration of immigrants (5-6 October 2000) - taken into account.

Given these changed circumstances, the emergence of different political positions and responses, and the growing public concern that has emerged in all Member States in recent months, the Commission believes that it is time to contribute to this debate and to re-address the question of how migration policy should be shaped under the Tampere mandate. In particular, the Commission proposes to examine how the complex issues related to the reception of economic migrants, which were only briefly addressed by the European Council in Tampere, should be dealt with within the framework of a Community migration policy. Against this background, common targets for channels for legal migration can be defined, which underpin the detailed proposals called for by the European Council in Tampere for the admission and residence of third-country nationals. It is also equally important that appropriate measures are developed to promote the integration of migrants, including those already living in the EU, and to strengthen the fight against racism and xenophobia.

2. The Tampere framework for a common EU asylum and migration policy

The Tampere European Council defined various objectives for building an area of ​​freedom, security and justice. One of these is the development of a common EU asylum and migration policy, the implementation of which is described below.

2.1. Partnership with countries of origin

At the Tampere European Council, the Member States recognized that the EU's asylum and migration policy must include cooperation with the countries of origin and transit of migrants. According to the European Council, the development of a comprehensive approach to migration requires that these countries deal with the issues that arise in relation to politics and human rights. With programs such as TACIS and PHARE, the Commission has drawn up strategies that aim not only to reduce the necessary triggering factors, in particular by improving the economic situation in the countries of origin and transit, but also to promote measures such as legislative reform and strengthening of law enforcement and the establishment of modern border control systems. A new, integrated approach has also been developed with the work of the High Level Group on Asylum and Migration. Six action plans have been drawn up for specific states or regions, each based on a coherent program of cooperation and development in dialogue with the states concerned. Funding is expected to be made available soon to allow the Community to contribute to the implementation of these plans.

In future, the EU must therefore, in addition to drawing up measures aimed at understanding and influencing the reasons for migration, also examine the effects of emigration on the countries of origin and adopt a responsible attitude, taking into account the economic, demographic, social and political realities as well as the human rights situation, which trigger the migration flows, are taken into account in each individual state. This corresponds to European values ​​and is in the interests of both the EU and the states concerned.

In most cases, the situation is very complex and the migration is both positive and negative. During the initial period in the host country, remittances from migrants home can become an important part of the public budget. However, large transfers can dissuade the sending state from cooperating in the control of migration. For the beneficiary families, these transfers can lead to a significant improvement in the standard of living and contribute to the development of the local economy, even if larger cities may benefit most to the detriment of other areas.On the other hand, the impact on the local economy can be negative if the most skilled and entrepreneurial workers emigrate. The "brain drain" is particularly a problem for developing countries, which can least afford to lose investment in the education and training of those who have received higher education. This problem is increasing in particular for some African countries and India and is likely to grow further if vacancies in Europe and other parts of the developed world in certain sectors with a need for highly qualified personnel combined with the large wage differentials continue to be an incentive for qualified persons represent the developing countries for emigration.

With today's increasingly mixed flows of migrants who have left their country of origin for economic and other reasons, and segments of the population who manage the balancing act between two cultures as part of a survival strategy, strategies can be developed to ensure that migration to both the country of origin and the country of origin also benefits the host state. In this way, the effects of the "brain drain" can be mitigated and maximum profits can be drawn from the transfers. Since there is now a Community competence for the areas of immigration and asylum, they will, if possible, be included more specifically in Community programs with third countries in the trade and development area. This applies in particular to the TACIS, PHARE and MEDA programs. Migration issues must also increasingly become part of the dialogue within the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements, the EU Common Strategy for Russia, Ukraine and the Mediterranean Region and the discussions with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The partnership approach should provide the framework for a flexible response to the emerging new migration trends around the world. Migration should be seen as a form of mobility and migrants should be encouraged to maintain and develop the connection to their countries of origin. To this end, it must be ensured that the legal framework does not detach migrants from their country of origin. For example, migrants should be given the opportunity to visit their country without losing their legal status in the host country and, depending on the development of the situation in their country of origin and in other countries, they should also be able to settle elsewhere or return to their country.

Such a concept would encourage migrants to contribute to the economic development of their country of origin not only through remittances to their family members, but also through development projects, business start-ups, etc. Such measures can in some cases lead to voluntary return and improved framework conditions for reintegration. This development is hampered by the fact that, in many Member States, visa requirements and other legal provisions restrict migrants' ability to move freely between their country of residence and their country of origin, even after they have retired. The cooperation between the countries of origin and residence of the migrants must be based on dialogue with the governments and the migrants themselves and their representations, so that the migration flows are taken into account in the development, economic and social strategies of the countries involved (e.g. by promoting more efficient public institutions and financial institutions , training and qualification programs for the workforce, and the involvement of foreign capital in projects (including those of emigrants in their countries of origin), thereby alleviating the effects of the brain drain and loss of the most entrepreneurially gifted members of society and contributing to sustainable development of the country of origin, which in the long term could reduce the incentive to emigrate.

However, the partnership approach to managing migration flows should be seen as part of a medium to long-term strategy. The impact will differ depending on the situation in the countries of origin.

2.2. A common European asylum system

The Tampere European Council reaffirmed that the right to asylum must remain guaranteed as a cornerstone of EU policy. The aim of a Common European Asylum System must be to ensure that the Geneva Refugee Convention is applied in full and that no one is sent back to where they are exposed to persecution. The Amsterdam Treaty provided for the implementation of joint actions.

The Commission made a proposal in May 2000 on the granting of temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and in September 2000 a proposal on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing refugee status. In early 2001, proposals will be drawn up on the reception conditions of asylum seekers and a clear and workable formula for determining the state responsible for examining an asylum application. Preparations to set up Eurodac are ongoing. Other proposals will concern the approximation of the rules on the granting and characteristics of refugee status, as well as the forms of subsidiary protection that confer appropriate status on a person in need of such protection. In addition, in September 2000 the Council adopted the Commission's proposal to set up a European Refugee Fund to promote a balanced distribution of the burdens of the Member States when it comes to receiving refugees and displaced persons.

At the request of the European Council in Tampere, further proposals for the establishment of Community rules on a common asylum procedure and a Union-wide uniform status for those granted asylum will be dealt with in a separate communication that will be presented together with the latter to give a clear picture of the method and the content of the measures to be taken under the humanitarian title from 2004 [6].

[6] COM (2000) 755 "For a common asylum procedure and a Union-wide uniform status for those who are granted asylum".

2.3. Fair treatment of third country nationals

A key element of the further development of the EU as an area of ​​freedom, security and justice decided in Tampere is to ensure fair treatment of third-country nationals who are lawfully residing on the territory of the Member States through an integration policy that is geared towards gaining comparable rights and Grant duties such as EU citizens.

With regard to the creation of a legal framework for the integration of those who are already on the territory of the Member States, the Commission has proposed extending the Community coordination of social security systems in accordance with Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 to employees and the self-employed, who are insured in a Member State and are third-country nationals. [7] The Commission has also put forward a proposal to amend Regulation 1612/68 with the aim of improving the legal status of family members of EU workers who are third country nationals. [8] These proposals are still being examined by the Council.

[7] COM (97) 561 final of November 12, 1997.

[8] COM (98) 394 of July 22, 1998.

In line with the Tampere mandate, further proposals will be made on the status of permanent residents of third country nationals. They contain the rights to be granted, the conditions under which the legal status can be lost, protection against deportation and the right to stay in another Member State. The right of permanent residence in another Member State could contribute significantly to mobility in the Union labor market. In this context, the Commission has already made two proposals on the rights of workers and self-employed operators from third countries who are already legally established in one Member State to provide services in other Member States.

In November 1999 the Commission presented a package of proposals to combat discrimination. On June 29, 2000, the Council adopted the first of the three elements of the package, namely the proposal for a directive on the application of the principle of equal treatment, regardless of race or ethnic origin, to employment, education, social protection (including social security and Health services), education, access to and supply of goods and services including housing. [9]

[9] Directive 2000/43, OJ L 180 of 19.7.2000.

Political agreement was reached in the Council on 17 October 2000 on the second element, the Commission's proposal for an action program to combat discrimination. The program is expected to run for six years from January 1, 2001, with a budget of almost EUR 100 million for activities to combat discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. Activities will focus on a) analyzing discrimination in the Member States and assessing measures to combat it; b) strengthening the capacity of organizations that contribute to combating discrimination through exchanges between Member States and core funding of NGOs, and c) promoting awareness of discrimination and action to combat discrimination in the EU. The Council also reached agreement on the third element of the non-discrimination package, the Commission's proposal for a framework directive on employment and occupation discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. [10]

[10] COM (1999) 565 final.

The EU Treaty, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, expressly states in its provisions on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters that the Union should be one of the main objectives in its efforts to build an area of ​​freedom, security and justice Will take action to prevent and combat racism and xenophobia. In 1996 the Council adopted a joint action to facilitate effective judicial cooperation between the Member States in order to prevent those who have committed racist and xenophobic acts from exploiting the differences in the legal systems of the Member States to avoid punishment. In the light of an evaluation of the Joint Action to be presented at the end of 2000, the Commission will present a framework decision under Article 29 of the EU Treaty with the aim of strengthening judicial cooperation in the fight against racism. This initiative will also include the spread of these crimes on the Internet, among other things.

The first initiative by the Commission since the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty on reception and residence conditions was a proposal for a directive on the right to family reunification. [11] This is justified for several reasons: first, family reunification is not governed by national law alone, as many international and regional legal acts lay down rules or principles in this area; second, family reunification has been one of the main axes of immigration for the past twenty years; thirdly, it is an essential element for the integration of those who have already been admitted; and finally, this area has been essential to the Council since 1991. This is in line with the Commission's view that the successful integration of third country nationals is one of the major challenges facing the EU in the field of migration policy in order to maintain economic and social cohesion. Establishing stable family communities ensures that migrants are able to fully contribute to their new societies.

[11] OJ C 116 E of 24.4.2000 and amended version COM (2000) 624.

The proposal lays down the right of third-country nationals to family reunification under certain conditions. This should allow all third-country nationals who meet certain criteria to be reunited with members of their core family or, in special cases, with other members of their extended family. The proposal also lays down certain rights for family members. Following the opinion of the European Parliament, the Commission drafted an amended proposal which is currently being examined by the Council.

Finally, the proposed Charter of Fundamental Rights, due to be adopted in December 2000, sets out various principles which, given the universality of certain rights, will also apply to third-country nationals. This will be particularly important with regard to certain social rights such as protection against unjustified dismissal and the application of national and Community law on working conditions. The Charter also provides for freedom of travel and residence for third-country nationals who are lawfully resident in a Member State.

2.4. Management of migration flows

The Tampere European Council stressed the need for a comprehensive approach to the management and regulation of migratory flows, which also includes political aspects, human rights and development issues and includes the countries of origin and transit.

The European Council emphasized that the management of migration flows includes an intensive dialogue between the host, transit and origin countries as well as the migrants themselves. The core element of this should be information campaigns through which potential migrants can find out about the legal options for immigration, the conditions they will find in the country of destination, and the dangers of illegal immigration and human trafficking. The European Council called for efforts to be strengthened to develop a common EU visa policy, combined with measures to combat the forgery of documents and the illicit use of travel documents.

Effective management of migration flows requires appropriate monitoring and must be supplemented by measures to regulate migration flows. This requires action at all stages of the migratory flows to ensure that legal opportunities for admitting migrants and those seeking protection on humanitarian grounds are preserved, while at the same time combating illegal immigration. A coherent and coordinated approach to illegal immigration will be an essential part of a more open migration policy at European level. The phenomenon of illegal immigration consists of a number of interconnected phases, each of which must be dealt with systematically through specific measures. This includes measures in the countries of origin and transit, police cooperation to pool knowledge about human trafficking, which naturally occurs internationally, measures on entry including visa policy and external border controls, legal provisions to punish human trafficking, help for the victims and a humane return to theirs Countries of origin.

One element in the governance process that needs to be given greater priority is the voluntary return of people who have been refused entry to a Member State or who no longer have the right to stay in the EU. In cases where efforts towards voluntary return are ineffective, the effectiveness of the European migration policy must ultimately be ensured through forced return. Readmission agreements are the most valuable instrument for facilitating repatriation. In addition, the Commission will draw up proposals for the development of common standards for measures to terminate residence, such as detention and deportation, which should be efficient and humane.

3. STEPS TO A COMMUNITY MIGRATION POLICY

3.1. Effects of the existing migration policies

Migration to the EU can be divided into three categories: migration for humanitarian reasons, migration for the purpose of family reunification and migration for economic reasons.

The basis for the admission of persons for humanitarian reasons is the Geneva Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees from 1951, the principles of which are followed by all member states. This convention provides access to employment as an individual right to be derived directly from refugee status, which must not be made dependent on an examination of economic necessity. The Tampere European Council approved the preparation of a program to coordinate an EU approach to the migration of people on humanitarian grounds. The measures required for this are taken according to the indicator (see section 2.2.2).

From a family reunification point of view, all Member States allow members of the family of migrants who are already legally resident in their territory to join them, although the criteria are very different. The Council is currently deliberating on a directive on the coordination of relevant national legislation (see section 2.2.3).

This communication focuses mainly on the third aspect, economic migration, which seems to have been negligible since the 1970s; however, given the economic opportunities the EU offers today, this is no longer the case. Numerous economic migrants try to gain access to the EU through asylum procedures or illegally. On the one hand, this makes it impossible to react appropriately to labor market requirements, and on the other, it plays into the hands of organized smugglers and unscrupulous employers. In addition, there is substantial illegal immigration into the EU, which Europol estimates at 500,000 people annually, most of whom do "undeclared work". Given these figures and the fact that it is difficult in practice to send people back to their countries of origin, several Member States have granted them regular status or amnesty, so that the number of those who are entitled to stay in the EU has been around 1.8 million since the 1970s [12].

[12] "Regularizations of illegal immigrants in the European Union", academic network for legal studies in the field of immigration and asylum law in Europe under the direction of Philippe de Bruycker, collection of the Faculty of Law at the Free University of Brussels, 2000.

While there are already procedures at EU level for a number of areas for the coordination of policies aimed at facilitating the functioning of the internal market - this concerns in particular the free movement of goods, capital and services as well as the free movement of EU workers and other citizens The role of third-country nationals in the EU labor market has not received due attention. The need for accompanying measures to promote the integration of migrants who are already in the EU and future migrants is also not yet taken into account.

3.2. Development of a new migration concept

The analysis of the current situation regarding migratory flows towards the EU has shown that a different, more flexible approach, which all Member States would have to adopt for legal migration, is now required. Such an active migration policy should start from the premise that migratory pressures will persist and that orderly immigration can be beneficial for both the EU and migrants and their countries of origin. In some Member States, channels for migration are already being opened for economic reasons in order to meet the urgent need for both skilled and unskilled labor. Given the current economic and labor market situation, the Commission believes that an examination of the longer term needs of the EU as a whole is necessary. This would assess the extent to which these needs can be met from the available resources and then, on this basis, develop a medium-term policy for the gradual, controlled admission of third-country nationals to meet the identified needs.

A number of elements of such a policy were already covered in the 1994 Communication on Immigration and Asylum Policy, but it would be important that the future approach take into account the changing nature of migration, which is becoming increasingly flexible in terms of movements between different countries and no longer just designed as movement in one direction. Overall, migration flows change direction more frequently and, depending on the economic and democratic situation, increase or decrease in both the receiving and sending countries. In order to be able to manage migratory flows effectively and reduce illegal immigration, the EU must therefore adopt a coordinated concept that takes into account the diverse, interlinked aspects of the migration system and works closely with the countries of origin and transit countries.

A more open and transparent migration policy, coordinated measures to reduce the reasons for emigration in the countries of origin and greater efforts to enforce employment laws in the Member States could also help reduce illegal immigration, especially in its worst form, human smuggling and trafficking. Member States will be able to tackle the problem of illegal immigration more effectively if they have a wider range of tools that are not limited to measures to curb alleged or actual abuse of asylum systems. It goes without saying that the abuse cannot be completely prevented by easing the admission policy and admitting economic migrants; Therefore, this policy should be supported by appropriate measures to combat people smuggling and effective asylum regimes that enable the rapid and correct identification of refugees and thus the necessary balance between refugee protection and the limitation of immigration.

It should be emphasized in this context that such a procedure is not synonymous with a policy of "replacement migration". The United Nations is addressing this issue in a report, according to which migration of this type could be a solution to the problem of population decline [13]. In the EU context, on the other hand, it is about a controlled approach based on a joint assessment of the economic and demographic development of the Union and the situation in the countries of origin and taking into account the Union's absorption capacity.

[13] "Replacement Migration: is it a solution to declining and aging populations-" Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat, March 21, 2000 (ESA / P / WP.160).

Including the issue of labor migration in the deliberations on future EU economic and social policies could also strengthen measures to combat undeclared work and the economic exploitation of migrants, which currently lead to unfair competition in the Union. A policy to regulate economically justified migration can only be successful if it is ensured that employers also apply labor law in the case of third-country nationals. Equal treatment in terms of pay and working conditions is not only in the interests of migrants, but of society as a whole, which then benefits fully from the contribution that migrants make to economic and social life.

In view of the different relationships between the Member States and the countries of origin, their different reception capacities, the development of integration measures and their labor market needs, the Commission believes that a regulated migration policy can best be achieved by establishing a general framework with common standards and procedures at EU level and a mechanism for setting targets and approximate figures within which Member States would develop and implement national policies.

3.3. Framework for an EU migration policy

Any EU migration policy must take into account all types of migration, whether for humanitarian, economic or family reunification purposes. The effects on the countries of origin and receiving countries as a whole must also be taken into account. This policy must also respond to the difficult political debate that is taking place in some countries; Against this background, strong political leadership is required to help shape public opinion. Addressing all types of migration requires an integrated approach that takes into account the benefits of diversity for society, the need for a balanced framework of rights and obligations for third-country nationals staying in the Union, the importance of promoting integration and the labor market implications. The policy would have to be developed as part of a new framework for cooperation at Community level based on cooperation, exchange of information and reporting, with the Commission coordinating.

Humanitarian admission would be maintained, while fully recognizing the international obligations of Member States to provide protection to refugees, asylum seekers and persons in need of temporary protection. The program for the development of a Common European Asylum System explained in section 2.2 will be pursued further. It is true that many who are admitted to the EU for humanitarian reasons return to their home countries as soon as the situation on the ground has improved. Nonetheless, when considering the number of economic migrants needed in different sectors, account should be taken of the number of people under international protection, as better use will be made of their skills, like those of their family members who are also given access to the labor market could.

When accepting economic migrants, the needs of the market, in particular for highly qualified specialists, less qualified or unskilled workers or seasonal workers, should be used as an important criterion. Admission policy in the field of economic migration must enable the EU to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of national, regional and local labor markets, taking into account the complex and rapidly changing needs and hence the need for greater mobility of admitted migrants between Member States Must be taken into account. These measures must also take into account the relevant provisions of Community law and the bilateral and multilateral agreements that have already entered into force and which the Community or the Community and the Member States have concluded with third countries. [14]

[14] The Community and its Member States have undertaken, in particular under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), to allow third-country nationals to pursue economic activities in the EU according to protocols that do not require an "economic needs test" allow natural persons to provide services in certain cases.

The basic principle of an EU migration policy must be that admitted persons are granted broadly the same rights and obligations as EU citizens, but that this can be done progressively and depending on the length of stay provided for in the reception conditions applicable to them. [15] The Commission has already put forward proposals to grant third country nationals legally resident in the EU the right to provide services. [16] The measures to combat racism and xenophobia provided for in Article 13 of the Amsterdam Treaty must be implemented with determination; Measures to integrate migrants into our societies are therefore to be seen as an essential addition to the admission policy. At the same time, it would be important to press ahead with the fight against illegal immigration, with the main focus on combating human trafficking and smuggling.

[15] This principle already applies, for example, to the employment policy provisions for nationals of certain third countries, e. B. Turkey, Morocco, Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) within the framework of a special association or cooperation agreement between the EU and the countries concerned.

[16] COM (1999) 3 final of January 27, 1999.

Ultimately, it is important to develop and implement this policy in partnership with the countries of origin and transit.

3.4. Admission of migrants

3.4.1. Assessment of an appropriate level of migration

Since it is very difficult to assess economic needs, it is not intended to set precise European goals. The Member States should continue to be able to determine for themselves which groups of migrants and how many workers they need in the individual sectors. However, a new procedure based on cooperation, information exchange and reporting would be introduced.

If such an approach were adopted, the Member States could be asked to draw up regular reports, the first part of which would explain how the country's migration policy has developed and impacted over the previous period, how many third-country nationals have been admitted to the various categories, and what their position on the job market is. In the second part, the migration policy objectives of the Member States, including the likely number of migrant workers who are to be admitted, and the level of qualifications would be stated. The need for a flexible approach in the face of changing economic needs means that a quota system would be unsuitable and an appropriate system of indicative targets would be preferable. It would be closely oriented to the needs of the labor market, but would also include existing agreements with the countries of origin and other aspects (e.g. acceptance in the population, availability of funds for measures for acceptance and integration, opportunities for social and cultural adaptation).

In drawing up these reports, the Member States would have to consult closely with one another and work closely with the social partners, regional and local authorities and all other actors involved in the integration of migrants. The reports would be drawn up on a commonly agreed structure which would allow the Commission to draw up a summary report which would be submitted to the Council. After deliberations, the Council would then lay down the foundations of the common approach to be implemented in the next period. In doing so, the Commission and the Council should take into account the progress made in implementing the European Employment Strategy and its impact on labor market conditions in the Union. The Commission would be responsible for the regular monitoring and evaluation of the policy, including its impact on the countries of origin.

3.4.2. Establishing a common legal framework for inclusion

As already announced in the Scoreboard, the Commission will propose guidelines early next year on the requirements for entry and residence of third-country nationals who want to take up dependent or self-employed employment, pursue unpaid work or undertake studies or vocational training. The Commission has already carried out comparative studies on the conditions of admission and residence of third-country nationals, which give a general overview of the laws and practices of the Member States.

The Commission's proposals aim to create a coherent legal framework that takes into account concepts that have already been successfully applied in the Member States. Within this framework, the basic conditions and procedures to be followed would be laid down, while it would be left to Member States to adopt national measures for the reception of third-country nationals in accordance with the criteria set out in the directives. Before adopting the proposals, the Commission plans to consult with the Member States, the social partners and non-governmental organizations. The framework would be based on the following principles:

Transparency and rationality: The conditions under which third-country nationals may enter the EU and stay there as dependent or self-employed, as well as their rights and obligations, should be clearly defined. Care should also be taken to ensure that they have access to information and that mechanisms are in place to ensure fair application. This could include be rules that facilitate quick decisions on individual membership applications on the basis of objective and verifiable criteria, which would be in the interests of both the applicant and the company that intends to employ them. A general provision on access to information would greatly promote transparency.

Different handling of rights depending on the length of stay: The principle that the length of stay has an impact on the rights of the person concerned has long been recognized in the Member States and is also mentioned in the Tampere conclusions. Taking into account the needs of the labor market also means making it easier to take on the most diverse groups of both qualified and unskilled workers as well as a quick and flexible response.A separate consideration of the situation of students from third countries would be conceivable. For people who have stayed in the EU for several years for the purpose of studying, special regulations should be provided to facilitate their access to the EU labor market. However, it is clear that migrants should be granted a fixed set of rights upon arrival in order to enable them to successfully integrate into society. The Community should reflect on how these rights could be expanded with increasing length of stay in order to achieve generally comparable regulations across the Union.

A flexible overall system should therefore be introduced in EU law, which provides for several legal positions and facilitates the admission of economic migrants instead of hindering them. The aim is to grant workers who only work temporarily in the EU and then want to return to their country of origin a secure legal status and at the same time to give those who want to stay permanently and meet certain criteria the opportunity to acquire permanent status. It would be conceivable, for example, to initially issue a temporary work permit - with special regulations for certain groups of workers, e.g. B. seasonal workers, cross-border commuters and people who are transferred within the company. The permit could be renewable and would later, after a number of years to be determined, be replaced by a permanent work permit; After a certain period of time, those concerned would also be eligible for a permanent residence permit. For each individual phase, the corresponding rights and obligations would have to be defined on the basis of equal treatment with residents, which cumulatively and ultimately correspond to those of persons entitled to permanent residence. The details of the system would be worked out using "best practices" and in close consultation with the Member States, which would be responsible for implementing national authorization policies within the general framework.

Application and evaluation process: The application process should be clear and simple. If the applications were made in the country of origin in cooperation with governments, international institutions, NGOs or regional and local authorities, this could increase the effectiveness of the monitoring procedures and improve the transparency of the procedures and the information for potential migrants; at the same time the right of employers to choose independently would be taken into account. However, it is recognized that many potential migrant workers only seek employment after they have been admitted to a Member State for other reasons; if work visas could be issued in the future, the problem could possibly be more effectively regulated and controlled.

In order to facilitate access to information, it would be useful to make greater use of new communication technologies to disseminate information on employment opportunities, working conditions, etc. For example, one could think of setting up a European information point (e.g. a website) that provides complete information on the admission of third-country nationals to the individual Member States and details of the national authorities responsible for issuing work permits (in accordance with the directives) contains. In addition, consideration could be given to a special visa for jobseekers from third countries.

In order for companies in the European Union, especially small and medium-sized companies, to be able to employ people from third countries quickly and in a targeted manner if necessary, they must be provided with an instrument with which they can prove that there is something concrete on the EU labor market there is a lack of appropriate forces. This requirement could, for example, be met by the "economic needs test" being deemed to have been carried out if a particular job has been offered for a period through the employment services of several Member States (e.g. through the EURES network) and no suitable EU Citizen (or certain preferred persons under the terms of international agreements) was found. [17]

[17] Certain cases as defined in the GATS Agreement: persons transferred within the company, persons on temporary business visits and the provision of services from countries outside the EU.

3.5. Integration of third country nationals

The Tampere European Council underlined the importance of fair treatment of third country nationals. An EU migration policy must therefore include measures to ensure that living and working conditions for migrants are comparable to those for their own nationals. Failure to provide resources for the successful integration of these migrants and their family members will, in the longer term, exacerbate the problems that can lead to exclusion and other problems such as delinquency and crime. While many legally resident immigrants have integrated themselves well and make an important contribution to the economic and social development of the host countries, social exclusion disproportionately affects immigrants, many of whom are victims of racism and xenophobia. The legal framework proposed by the Commission and other measures to combat discrimination and xenophobia need to be accompanied by specific national, regional and local integration programs. In its proposals for 2001, in its new Employment Guideline 7, the Commission suggests that Member States make efforts to address the needs of disadvantaged groups, including migrant workers who are already legally resident in the Union, with regard to their integration into the labor market and to set national targets in this regard according to the situation in the country. [18]

[18] Amended proposal for a Council decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States for 2001.

However, it is also essential that we evolve into genuinely receptive societies and recognize that integration is a two-way process that requires adjustment from both the immigrant and the host society. The European Union is essentially a pluralistic society which draws its wealth from a multitude of cultural and social traditions and will develop even more in this sense in the future. It is therefore imperative to respect cultural and social differences, but also to our common fundamental principles and values: respect for human rights and human dignity, respect for the value of pluralism and recognition of the fact that belonging to a society involves a number of rights and duties for all Members, residents and migrants alike. If equal living conditions and equal access to services are ensured and the migrants resident in the EU for longer periods are granted civil and political rights, the obligations mentioned arise from this; this benefits integration. By coordinating their efforts to ensure that employers also apply employment rules to third country nationals, Member States would make an essential contribution to the integration process; this is of particular importance with regard to the recruitment of highly qualified migrants, for whom global competition has now broken out. In this context, the Commission has already made proposals on the rights of third country workers and independent third country economic operators legally resident in the EU to provide services within the EU.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights could serve as a guide in developing the concept of civil citizenship (with a basic set of common rights and obligations) for third country nationals in a given Member State. If migrants were offered the prospect of acquiring such citizenship after a minimum period of several years, this could already offer many enough guarantees for their social integration or represent a first step towards naturalization in the relevant Member State.

Integration-promoting measures can only be successful if they start as soon as possible after admission and can rely on a partnership between immigrants and the host society. The political leadership must create the climate necessary for the acceptance of diversity in which integration policy can then be pursued. To promote integration, packages of measures tailored to their individual needs could be developed for all new migrants (including, for example, language courses, information on political and social structures or assistance with access to services; the needs of women and children should be given special consideration). However, it is important to realize that integration is a long-term process and that special attention must be paid to second generation migrants, including those born in the EU. This is to prevent social exclusion and the slide into crime in particular. With this in mind, women and families should be a focus when promoting integration.

Even if integration is primarily a matter for the Member States, governments should shoulder this responsibility together with civil society, especially at the local level, where the relevant measures are implemented. The key to success lies in small-scale measures at the lowest level, in which all actors involved work in partnership: regional and local authorities and their political leadership, especially in the larger cities where many immigrants settle, educational and health institutions, social institutions, police, media, social partners, non-governmental organizations as well as immigrants and their associations. All have a role to play in the design and implementation of integration programs, for which adequate resources must be made available.

Such a horizontal approach requires coordination at national and local level; The EU could make a valuable contribution to this by developing a guiding strategy, promoting the exchange of information and best practices, particularly at local level, and developing guidelines or common standards for measures to promote integration. A Community action program to promote the integration of third-country nationals could be developed, the aim of which would be to better understand the problem. This could be achieved by evaluating procedures, developing benchmarks and other indicators, promoting dialogue between the actors involved, supporting European networks and creating awareness.

3.6. Information, research and monitoring

More information is needed on migration flows in and out of the EU and patterns of migration, including illegal immigration, the role of migrants in the labor market and the general impact of migration (including social, cultural and political) Aspects) to the EU and the countries of origin and transit. The EU migration policy itself must be closely monitored and critically assessed. Efforts to improve the comparability of migration statistics and to support comparative research should continue. The European Parliament has already suggested that the activities of existing research and data networks should be strengthened and geared towards Europe. Such a European network could coordinate current activities in the different Member States and promote new research both in the EU and in the countries of origin.

The Commission is aware of the need to improve the collection and analysis of data on migration and asylum and will be actively involved in the ongoing reflection on best practice. In this context, the creation of an appropriate legal basis is being considered.

4. CONCLUSIONS AND FOLLOW UP

In order to implement the Tampere mandate, an assessment of the current and expected migration flows into the EU is required, which is to be carried out in the course of developing a common asylum and migration policy; Demographic changes, the situation on the labor market and the pressure of migration from the countries and regions of origin must be taken into account.

Given the population decline that will continue to worsen in the EU over the next 25 years, as well as the current good economic outlook and the increasing shortage of skilled workers, the Commission is committed to developing a common policy for the controlled reception of economic migrants as part of a global one Immigration and asylum policy of the Union. Without prejudice to the structural reform efforts made by the European Employment Strategy and in the context of a political strategy aimed at increasing growth, employment and social cohesion, the Commission believes that migrants make a positive contribution to the labor market, economic growth and to secure the social systems, even if immigration in this sense can never be a solution to labor market problems. However, we must be aware that immigration is a complex phenomenon that has legal, social, cultural and economic implications. When developing a common policy, it is therefore important to combine different types of policy in the appropriate proportion. The communication sets out a framework within which such a common policy could be regulated and administered.

Within this framework, the Commission proposes a procedure for coordination at Community level based on the evaluations carried out by the Member States in consultation with the social partners and the bodies involved in the integration of migrants, which would be presented in regular reports. On this basis, an overall EU policy for the admission of new migrants could be agreed at Community level in the Council. This open approach is justified by the fact that effective migration management must be based on partnership, as a horizontal concept is required for the various elements.

Such a policy must be flanked by long-term, comprehensive integration programs that are developed in partnership between national, regional and local authorities and civil society with the aim of generating positive effects on employment, economic performance and social cohesion within a clearly defined framework of rights and obligations to maximize. In this context, it would be useful to use existing Community policy instruments in a concerted manner (e.g. measures to combat discrimination and social exclusion under Articles 13 and 137 of the Amsterdam Treaty, the Employment Strategy, European Social Fund and other Community initiatives such as EQUAL and URBAN). In support of this policy, the Commission should encourage action at local and national level and the exchange of good practice.

Moving to a conscious migration policy requires political leadership and a clear commitment to promoting pluralistic societies and condemning racism and xenophobia. The merits of immigration and cultural diversity will have to be pointed out; When commenting on issues relating to migration and asylum policy, use of language should be avoided that could boost racist tendencies or exacerbate tensions between the population groups. Those responsible must publicly express their support for measures to promote the integration of new migrants and their family members and campaign for the recognition and acceptance of cultural differences within a clearly defined framework of rights and obligations. The media, in their function as opinion leaders, also have a considerable responsibility in this regard.

The Commission proposes the development - in coordination with the Member States - of a common legal framework for the admission of third-country nationals based on the principles of transparency, rationality and flexibility. The legal status to be granted to third-country nationals would be based on the principle of equal rights and obligations as for nationals; A differentiation would be made depending on the length of stay and at the same time a further development towards a permanent status would be provided.In the longer term, the granting of a kind of civil citizenship with certain rights and obligations for third-country nationals on the basis of the EC Treaty and based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights could be promised.

The partnership-based cooperation with the countries of origin and transit is indispensable insofar as migration flows can only be managed in this way. The development of differentiated measures for cooperation with the different types of countries of origin (e.g. acceding countries, countries participating in community-funded regional programs, other countries) is essential. In the longer term, it would be expected that such partnerships would help reduce the number of reasons for emigration through coordinated efforts to promote development in the countries concerned; The migrants themselves should be particularly involved in this process. Within the framework of this partnership, the developing new mobility patterns would be supported and the contacts of migrants with their countries of origin as well as their participation in the development of their countries would be facilitated.

This migration policy, which is more open and transparent, would be accompanied by increased efforts to combat illegal immigration and, above all, human trafficking and smuggling; This is to be made possible not only through closer cooperation and tightening of border controls, but also through the proper application of labor law provisions to third-country nationals.

Given that the issues dealt with here are extremely complex and the need to ensure the participation of a wide range of actors in the implementation of such a policy, the Commission proposes that this communication be sent to the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee Forward opinion. The communication is also intended to serve as a basis for consultations with national and regional authorities, the social partners, the business world and international organizations and NGOs dealing with migration issues or associated with migrant associations, and is to be widely disseminated.

The results of this debate could be dealt with at the conference scheduled for the second half of 2001 under the Belgian Presidency. The conclusions adopted by the participants would then be forwarded to the Council, which would discuss them at its Brussels meeting at the end of 2001, which would, if necessary, carry out a mid-term review of the implementation of the Tampere program.

ANNEX 1

The demographic and economic context

The demographic context

In the 1990s, the world population grew faster than ever before, reaching the 6 billion mark in 1999. According to United Nations estimates, around 150 million people now live outside their country of origin. The increase in world population is expected to continue in the immediate future. Improvements in communication capabilities, coupled with persistent economic imbalances, conflict and environmental factors, are likely to mean that migratory flows will continue into the 21st century. However, there are signs of a slowdown in population growth in some developing countries, which could reduce the number of possible migrants in the long term.

The demographic situation has also changed significantly in the EU. Compared to the global situation, two trends are particularly striking: the slowdown in population growth and a significant increase in the average age of the population. Statistical data from Eurostat show that between 1975 and 1995 the EU population grew from 349 to 372 million people, while the proportion of older people (aged 65 and over) increased from 13% to 15.4%. Between 1995 and 2025, the population of the EU-15 will increase somewhat more slowly from 372 to 386 million, according to Eurostat forecasts, but will decrease thereafter. However, the labor force (people aged 20-64) will decrease over the next 10 years (from 225 million in 1995 to an estimated 223 million in 2025), while the proportion of people over 65 is expected to decrease to 22 , 4% of the population will increase in 2025.

In the Central and Eastern European countries, population growth is expected to be even lower than that of the EU-15 in the first quarter of this century [19]. Overall, the accession countries will have an age structure of the population similar to that of the EU-15. The projected decline in the labor force will pose challenges similar to those of the EU-15 for most countries. However, the impact of demographic trends will also depend on the pace of economic restructuring and labor market conditions in these countries. Regional imbalances between urban and rural areas will be particularly pronounced in some of these states. Such differences also exist in the EU-15, where some countries (D, I, S) already show negative natural growth (fewer births than deaths), while others (SF, F, IRL, NL) will also show negative natural growth in the next few years will experience relatively high natural growth [20]. However, across the EU, net immigration has become the main driver of population growth [21].

[19] Report on the Demographic Situation 1997, DG Employment and Social Affairs, p. 29.

[20] National and Regional Population Trends in the European Union, Eurostat working document 3/1999 / E / No.8, p.39.

[21] Ibid., P. 16.

Eurostat data show that net immigration to the EU has declined rapidly over the past 10 years from a peak in the early 1990s of over a million people per year. After that, however, immigration rose again and in 1999 reached over 700,000 people [22]. In 1990-98 the net immigration rate to the EU was 2.2 per 1000 people, compared with 3 in the US, 6 in Canada and close to 0 in Japan. The influx is now made up of different groups of people: asylum seekers, displaced persons and persons seeking temporary protection, family members following immigrants who are already resident in the EU, migrant workers and a growing number of economic migrants. Family reunification and the existence of ethnic communities in the countries of origin in a given host country influence the size and direction of this influx. Migration flows have become more flexible, in particular short-term and cross-border flows have increased, with a complex pattern of immigration into and out of the Union.

[22] Eurostat data. These data on net immigration (the difference between immigration and emigration in a given year) also take into account the impact of births and deaths in that year.

A recent UN report, based on purely demographic considerations [23], shows that replacement migration could contribute significantly to solving the problems of population decline and aging in Europe. In the Commission's view, increased legal immigration cannot be seen as an effective way of compensating for demographic changes in the long term, as experience shows that after some time immigrants adopt the fertility patterns in the host country. In the short term, however, it can make an important contribution to population growth and complement other responses to demographic changes such as more family-friendly policies. In addition, immigration cannot, in the long run, provide a solution to labor market imbalances, including those resulting from skills shortages, which need to be addressed as part of an overall strategy of structural employment and human resource development measures. However, managed migration could help to alleviate the existing labor shortage, provided that it takes place in the context of a global structural policy strategy.

[23] Replacement migration: is it a solution to declining and aging populations, United Nations Secretariat (ESA / P / WP.160), March 21, 2000.

The economic context and the situation on the EU labor market

The EU's macroeconomic outlook is now much better than in recent years. Inflation and interest rates are low, public finance deficits have been reduced and the balance of payments is healthy. The economic benefits of the introduction of the euro and the completion of the internal market lead to increased growth and new jobs, so that the unemployment rate has fallen.

The process launched by the European Council in Luxembourg in 1997 set an ambitious framework for coordinating employment strategies in the EU. In accordance with Article 99 (2) of the EC Treaty, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Member States conduct their employment policies in a manner consistent with the broad economic policy guidelines drawn up each year by the Council. In the light of these guidelines, the Member States draw up national action plans, the implementation of which is regularly monitored by the Commission and the Council.

At the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000, numerous weaknesses in the EU economy were highlighted, in particular the still high number of unemployed, which, despite the fall in the unemployment rate to an average of 9.2% in 1999, still exceeded 15 million. [24] The labor market is characterized by insufficient participation of women and older workers and by structural long-term unemployment as well as marked regional differences. The European Council drew attention to the problems caused by the underdevelopment of the service sector, particularly in the telecommunications and Internet sectors, and to the skills deficit, particularly in information technology, where more and more vacancies are left. The European Council also highlighted the need to modernize social protection systems and ensure their long-term sustainability in the face of an aging population [25]. Adapting pension systems to encourage gradual retirement with flexible working hours for older people would encourage these older people, who are now generally in better health and working conditions than their grandparents, to work longer. Increased sharing of responsibility between government, social partners and individuals would reduce the responsiveness of pension systems to demographic changes and their dependence on the labor force. The European Employment Strategy is now slowly addressing these issues.

[24] The rate fell further in 2000 and is currently 8.4% or just over 14 million unemployed.

[25] "The long-term development of social protection: future-proof pensions" [COM (2000) 622].

In Lisbon, the European Council set a new strategic goal for the next decade, namely the goal of making the Union the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, capable of sustained economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion . To this end, a global strategy was adopted with the aim of increasing the overall employment rate from an average of 61% in 2000 to almost 70% in 2010, as well as increasing the employment rate of women from 51% to over 60% in this period and thus the sustainability of the strengthen existing social protection systems. The Commission believes that these strategies will reduce the impact of the aging population in the EU and the level of dependency between working and retired populations.

The 2000 Joint Employment Report [26] shows progress made in increasing the employment rate, which in 1999 stood at 62.2%. It also highlights the areas in which further efforts are needed and shows that skills gaps are growing and that labor supply and demand are less and less aligned. This development is becoming acute in some sectors that require highly qualified personnel necessary for the development of a knowledge economy. Human resource problems in sectors such as agriculture and tourism, which traditionally employ low-skilled workers, persist despite efforts to remedy them, even when the unemployment rate is high. This deficiency could affect the EU's competitiveness in the world economy.

[26] COM (2000) 551 final.

The ability of different states and regions in the EU to compensate for demographic effects and to mobilize untapped labor is very different. Immigration, as an element of the overall strategy to promote growth and reduce unemployment, will help alleviate these problems, particularly in the short to medium term. While there are already procedures at EU level for a number of areas for the coordination of policies aimed at facilitating the functioning of the internal market - this concerns in particular the free movement of goods, capital and services as well as the free movement of EU workers and other citizens The role of third-country nationals in the EU labor market has not received due attention. which is now to be dealt with in view of their increasing importance. As this role grows in importance, this area should now be addressed.

The situation of migrants in the EU labor market

Regarding the situation of migrants on the EU labor market, it can be stated that the situation of qualified and unskilled migrants has varied more and more since the mid-1980s. The number of poorly or unskilled migrants in the labor market has been increasing since 1992 in areas where they meet demand, e.g. in agriculture, construction, household and seasonal work in tourism (hotels and restaurants) as well as in certain parts of the manufacturing. With regard to the skilled workforce, there is now a willingness to accept migrants into the labor market who have specific skills in order to meet a need that the existing workforce cannot meet even in areas with high unemployment. At the same time, global competition for such skilled workers is increasing (e.g. in the IT sector).

Although the available data on newly arrived migrants is not comprehensive - partly because many Member States work illegally or illegally in the Union - official statistics (European Labor Force Survey) show that the employment rate for First generation migrants, and women in particular, tend to be worse off than the general population. As recent research on ethnic discrimination in the labor market by the ILO has shown, statistically significant levels of discrimination exist in a number of Member States. In addition, there is often a higher school dropout rate among migrants than among nationals. This can often be attributed to language difficulties, especially among newcomers, but also to problems with adapting to the school system.

In recent years, numerous studies have attempted to examine the economic effects of legal immigration in various Member States, particularly in Germany, Denmark and Austria. These studies have shown that there are both positive and negative effects, especially at the local level. In general, immigrants have positive effects on economic growth and do not burden the welfare state. The assumption that immigration increases unemployment is not confirmed in these studies. Rather, they show that immigrants tend to take on jobs that were left open even in cases where there was high unemployment among the local population. These studies are in line with previous work in the United States, Canada, and Australia, which served to justify persistent immigration policies that seek to attract annual quotas from immigrants to specific sectors. The impact of illegal immigrants working in the EU is, of course, difficult to assess, as it is not possible to precisely determine their number and location. While they, and in many sectors low-skilled immigrants, are undoubtedly a contributor to the economy in the short term, their presence could hamper the implementation of structural changes necessary for long-term growth.

The economic benefits may be greater for highly skilled immigrants who meet certain skills needs than for low skilled, who in certain cases may compete with national workers for jobs. Most immigrants without residence and work permits are employed in areas that do not require special qualifications (e.g.in agriculture and related sectors, in the hospitality and cleaning sectors), often at lower wages than the local workforce and under conditions that can lead to exploitation and social strife. On the other hand, the regional and sectoral concentration of immigrants can mean that they are an important factor in the local economy.

While difficulties in sectors that have traditionally attracted immigrants (particularly construction, mining and manufacturing) have resulted in higher unemployment rates among immigrants than natives in certain states, however, immigrants have also been shown to be more flexible in recent years Have dealt with such problems, particularly by moving to the service sector and setting up their own small businesses. It should also be noted that sectors employing immigrants and related industries are often productivity gains. It is believed that a lack of migrants in agriculture, some manufacturing sectors and certain service sectors would negatively affect the sector concerned [27].

[27] Assessment of possible migration pressure and its labor market impact following EU enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe, Part 1, John Salt et al., Research Report RR138, Department of Education and Employment (UK), December 1999.

With regard to social security systems, the presence of legal migrant workers and their families can be a positive factor, at least in the short term, in light of the shrinking and aging population, although their admission may initially come at a cost. Effective integration measures for third-country nationals to create decent living and working conditions increase their socio-economic contribution to the society of the host country. In the absence of such policies, leading to discrimination and social exclusion, this could mean higher costs for society in the long run.

APPENDIX 2

Overview of recent or planned Commission proposals on migration policy

Proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 as regards its extension to third country nationals (COM (97) 561 final) (presented in 1997)

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 on the free movement of workers within the Community (COM (98) 394 final) (submitted in 1998)

Directive on the application of the principle of equal treatment regardless of race or ethnic origin (Directive 2000/43 / EC, OJ L180 of 19.7.2000) (adopted in June 2000)

Directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (COM (99) 565 final) (presented in October 1999)

Council decision on a Community action program to combat discrimination 2001-2006 (COM (2000) 649) (adopted in October 2000)

Directive on the right to family reunification (presented in December 1999, October 2000: amended version)

Directive on the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents in a Member State (February 2001)

Directive on the conditions of entry and residence for the purpose of study or vocational training (first half of 2001)

Directive on the conditions of entry and residence for taking up unpaid work (first half of 2001)

Directive on the conditions of entry and residence for the purpose of employment and independent economic activity (first half of 2001)

Mobilization to collect statistical data on immigration based on the statistical collection started in 1998 (first half of 2001)

Communication on return policy (first half of 2001)

Proposals for a coordination and monitoring process for the implementation of the Community's migration policy

Proposals for a Community action program to promote the integration of third country nationals through horizontal measures to support exchanges of experience and the development of best practices