On European immigration: Europe’s Missing Citizens

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. Written by Arif Shala, Executive Director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Migration refers to change of residence, it is a more or less a permanent movement across space. People “emigrate” from one country and become “immigrants” in the new place of residence. With migration being a reality rather than a fiction, it is of paramount importance that EU Member States commit themselves to enable immigrants thrive. The need to design policies  that promote active participation of immigrants in European societies has never been greater. Of special importance in this respect will be the policies that target education, employment and active citizenship.

Education

Immigrants attend schools and academic institutions in EU Member States in significant numbers. EU data suggest that 8.3 million young people in the EU Member States were born abroad. Of this, 3.1 million are under 15 years old and 5.2 million are between the ages of 15 and 24. Unfortunately the Eurostat’s 2011 statistical report on Migrations in Europe indicates that young people of migration backgrounds are twice as likely to leave school early than native born youngsters. Consequently, the intervention in the education of young people with migrant background is crucial if the Europe Union aims to fulfill its 10 year EU growth and competitiveness strategy, EU 2020. This strategy aims to reduce the drop-out rates to below 10 %, and to make sure that a minimum of 40% of adults between 30 to 34 years old have completed tertiary education (O’Dowd, 2014a).

Focusing on improving educational outcomes for migrant youth will ultimately help EU Member States to achieve the targets of inclusive economic growth and reduction of unemployment. Data suggests that reducing the school leaving rates for foreign-born learners will bring Europe 30% closer to its goal. Experts suggest that migrant education is the most crucial challenge facing education in Europe in the coming years. Migrant children have continually (C., 2014) been overlooked in national policy making. If EU is to meet its ambitions goals it is of paramount importance that education policies target immigrant students (O’Dowd, 2014b).

Employment

In order to truly understand the impact that immigrants have in the economy of a country one should look closer in three areas, namely the labor market, the public purse and economic growth. With regards to the labor market, immigrants accounted for over 70% of the increase in the labor force over the past ten years in Europe. The impact of immigrants is seen in fast-growing sectors as well as in those that are facing steady decline. In terms of public revenues, data suggests that immigrants contribute far more in taxes and social contributions in comparison to the benefits they receive. Consequently, their impact is highly positive. Last but not least, immigrants contribute to economic development by boosting the working-age of population (Dumont & Liebig, 2014).

Since 2001 migrants have represented a 14% increase in the highly educated labor force in Europe. Furthermore immigrants are slowing becoming key players in growing occupations in Europe where they represent 15 % of the total workforce.  These occupations include but are not limited to health-care occupations and STEM occupations (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In the mean time, immigrants are also influencing positively the occupations that are currently declining in EU, where they represent 24 % of the work force. These occupations include craft, machine operators and assemblers (Liebig and Mo, 2013).

Dumont and Liebig (2014) argue that the waves of migration that arrived during the last five decades in OECD countries has had an impact value close to zero, rarely exceeded 0.5% in positive or negative terms. This data shows that immigrants are not a financial burden to residence countries. What is more, immigrants contribute more in taxes and social contributions in comparison to what they receive in social benefits.  Immigrants contribute to financing public infrastructure, a contribution that is always lower than that of native born residents. Consequently, if EU member countries were to increase employment rates among immigrants, their financial contribution would increase as well.

Active citizenship 

The majority of EU migrants in Western Europe are not naturalized which makes them unable to vote in national elections, regional elections and finally the European elections. In every election in Europe 51 million people or 14% of the population of EU do not vote because they are not allowed to vote. Unfortunately it is in these elections that most policies for immigration, employment and social policies are decided. This practice in Europe will have long term negative impact in EU politics. One of the most damaging effects of this practice relates to the increase of the far-right. The democratic deficit in EU member states will continue to increase if something is not done rapidity. Every vote that is casted for the far-right will tighten the immigration policies, the more immigrants are excluded from political involvement the more powerful will the far-right become in EU member states.

All member states should rapidly promote active citizenship and citizenship reform the society at large should be made aware of the invaluable benefit of active citizenship for immigrants and the society in general. Research suggests that electoral participation of immigrants promotes socio-economic integration, fights discrimination and courters the far right (Migration Policy Group, 2014).

Over time, regardless of whether they arrived legally or illegally, by living and working in a society, immigrants became members of that society. A large number of research data suggest that immigrants add value to the country where they settle. EU countries have an untapped potential among immigrants. Utilizing this potential will ultimately improve the economic standing of EU, its political structures and its innovation potential.

About the author

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

EU countries invested €5 trillion abroad

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities

Italy’s rescue operation Mare Nostrum shuts down with no real replacement. EU’s Triton instead might put lives at risk

Lost in translation

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

Regional policies slowed down by EU bureaucracy

Facts and prejudices about work

European Youth calls on European Council for urgent action on “humanitarian crisis” and questions the EU/Turkey deal respect of human rights

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

What changes in the EU as from today

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

250 days until the European Parliament elections

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Imaginary Journeys Into Eternal China

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

More bank bailouts at taxpayers’ expenses

The European Sting at the Retail Forum for Sustainability live from Barcelona

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

My twin from Guangzhou

Medical Doctors in Industry 4.0: pure science fiction

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

An American duel in Brussels: Salesforce against Microsoft over Linkedin deal

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Children Will Bear the Brunt of Climate Change: UNICEF

France: New labour laws for more competitiveness

EU Commission: The banks are not obliged to finance the real economy

Commission to decide on bank resolution issues

Memoirs from a unique trip to China: “my new old dragon” (Part I)

The EU learns about fishing and banking from tiny Iceland

Medicine in the 4th Industrial Revolution: the third entity of the new doctor-patient relationship

Cédric in India

EU Council: The US airlines may freely pollute the European air

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

European Business Summit 2015: In search of a vision for the future

Commission’s action against imports from China questioned

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

Why youth unemployment is so difficult to counter

IMAGINATION, FACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES – THE UNLIMITED POWER OF CHINA

Eurozone: Economic sentiment-business climate to collapse without support from exports

“If the job market doesn’t exist, then even the most brilliant Youth Guarantee cannot ensure a job to these young people”, European Youth Forum Secretary General Giuseppe Porcaro on another Sting Exclusive

It’s a week dedicated to all EU budgets; seven days that can make or break the Union

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

JADE Testimonial #3: Sebastian @ Fundraising

The EU tells the bare truth to the UK that there is no such thing as easy divorces

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

The IMF sees Brexit’s ‘substantial impact’ while the world’s economy holds its breath

Education and Training: where do we stand in 2014?

ECB bets billions on Eurozone’s economic recovery

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Europe rethinking its severe austerity policies

More Stings?

Comments

  1. good article

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s