Presentation on theme: "Immigration: a Threat or a Solution? Latvian Case Anitra Plūme, Acting Head of Foreigners Service Department, Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs."— Presentation transcript:
Immigration: a Threat or a Solution? Latvian Case Anitra Plūme, Acting Head of Foreigners Service Department, Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs Warsaw, 24th April, 2008
Some facts: Total number of inhabitants of Latvia in 01.01.2008 – 2 276 348 Population by nationality: Latvia (citizens) – 1857508Estonia – 906 Latvia (non-citizens) – 372421Germany - 831 Russia – 29182USA - 586 Lithuania – 3392Moldova - 536 Ukraine – 3063 Other - 5969 Belorussia - 1954
Migration flows in Latvia in 1951-1990 (thousands) ImmigrationEmigrationBalance 1951-55212.0161.850.2 1955-60165.2145.819.4 1961-65180.6119.061.6 1966-70146.8101.845.0 1971-75202.0141.061.0 1976-80187.2149.637.6 1981-85171.3131.739.6 1986-90149.8122.926.9
Migration after 1991 Department of Migration Affairs was established in 19th April 1991; Number of annual immigration rapidly decreased and migration balance in 1991 – 1995 was negative: -137 000. First national legislative acts in the area of migration were adopted and among them – the most important: “Law on Entry and Residence of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons into the Republic of Latvia” 9th June 1992.
The Main Challenge in the field of migration in Latvia: lack of labour force pressure of employers → intergovernmental working group (July 2006) → “Concept of Migration Policy in the Context of Employment” (submitted in the Cabinet of Ministers – May 2007)
“Concept of Migration Policy in the Context of Employment”: Reduced state duty for issuance of a residence and work permit; “One-stop agency” for obtaining a residence and work permit; Fast track procedure in cases if there has been substantial lack of labour force detected in certain areas of employment
Positive aspects of simplified labour migration policy: - Possibility to react flexibly to the changes in labour market; - Luck of labour force does not pose a threat to the economical development; - It is possible to maintain a competitiveness in the international market in a short-time period; - Growth of salaries corresponds to the growth of productivity; - Possibility to attract more highly-qualified workers.
Negative aspects of simplified labour migration policy: - Does not stimulate return of Latvian citizens who work in other EU countries; - Social problems in case of unemployment; - Negative impact on development of internal labour market; - Employers might slow down improvements in areas of social guaranties, employment conditions and research&development.
Problems of introduction of new migration policy: -migration – politically sensitive question in Latvia (historical experience); -xenofobic attitude of native population; -lack of integration policy.
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