Presentation on theme: "PolicyPoints EU enlargement & migration Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr)"— Presentation transcript:
PolicyPoints EU enlargement & migration Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr)
2 Floodgates or turnstiles? The potential scale and impact of migration is one of the most heated aspects of EU enlargement An unhappy coincidence? The politics and economics of EU meets the politics and economics of migration Result = media frenzy This feeds into wider fears about migration, benefit tourism, failing government policies, Roma etc. Key is to untangle issues, examine evidence, and generate appropriate policies.
3 3 main concerns for EU15 Large scale of the enlargement (10 new members and 75 million people) and the large economic disparities between existing and new members may lead to large and uncontrolled flows of unskilled or low- skilled workers that will undercut wages in EU15 countries.
4 Transitional restrictions? Concerns about impact of migration on some EU15 countries led to transitional restrictions being permitted as part of the Accession treaties. These restrictions: –can only be imposed up to 2011 at the latest; –can only be applied to workers and services and not other flows (e.g. visitors, students); Countries like Germany & Austria indicated early on that they would impose restrictions but other EU15 countries imposed restrictions at the last minute.
5 But UK should not panic Surveys and economic models predict small flows Previous enlargement experience didnt result in large flows from South to North UK is not a likely destination for accession nationals There will be initial rise but then gradual decrease Peak stock: 3-4 million in EU15; 200,000 in UK Peak annual flows: 370,000 to EU15; 17,000 to UK Migrants will most likely be young, single, reasonably well educated and come for short periods
6 Opportunities for the UK Main question is when to allow free access not if UK decision to allow migrant workers access now rather than later makes economic sense because: –unemployment is low at the moment; –there are skills shortages that accession nationals can fill; –more legal flows will reduce demand for illegal workers; –the UK stands to gain an early starter advantage. Escape clauses: if flows are larger than expected the UK can reduce other migration streams or impose restrictions later.
7 New policies for a new Europe? Essential to situate debate about migration within wider aspirations for EU Important to reaffirm the relatively small scale of migration after enlargement and that EU policies are determined by evidence rather than media hysteria. Unwarranted fears about migration should not lead to a two-tier Europe Migration in an enlarged EU may cause short-term upheaval in some areas but it also offers opportunities for new and old member states alike