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

Africa’s inspiring innovators show what the future could hold

Parliaments can be pillars of democracy and defenders of human rights, says UN chief on International Day

EU budget: Reinforcing Europe’s cultural and creative sectors

G20 LIVE: “United States and Turkey stand in solidarity with France and its people in handing the perpetrators of this crime and bringing them to justice”, US President Barack Obama underlines from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Security Council renews mandates of UN force monitoring separation area between Israel and Syria; AU-UN hybrid mission in Darfur

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

High-technology manufacturing saves the EU industry

My unlimited China

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

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

EU-Turkey deal on migrants kicked off but to who’s interest?

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

Afghanistan: UN mission condemns deadly attack near Kabul airport

Climate change: Direct and indirect impacts on health

We need greater protection for our oceans. We can’t let politics stand in the way

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

2014 will bring more European Union for the big guys and less for the weak

Nicaragua: MEPs condemn brutal repression and demand elections

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

The mother of all fights about inflation, growth and banks

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

US – Russia bargain on Syria, Ukraine but EU kept out

Brain Drain: Follow your dreams, wherever they might take you

For Youth Rights: steps forward for better protection.

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

Alice in Colombia

Fleeing Venezuela: MEPs to probe humanitarian conditions in Colombia and Brazil

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

Is ECB helping Germany to buy cheaply the rest of Europe?

Volkswagen getting away with it in Europe

The Chinese film boom luring Hollywood’s stars

Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

This AI is working with a fleet of drones to help us fight ocean plastic

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

Why the ECB suddenly decided to flood banks with money?

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

The Commission accused of tolerating corruption and fraud in taxation

Managers’ pay under fire

Youth Forum calls on Parliament to ease entry into Europe for young people

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: “Am I a real Boy?”

Mixed news about the Eurozone economy

Germany and Europe prepare for Trump’s America

Galileo and EGNOS programmes back in orbit powered with €70 billion

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report

Is the ECB enforcing the will of the big Eurozone member states on the small? Can the euro area live with that?

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

Sudzha gas metering station at Russian-Ukrainian border (Copyright: Gazprom, 2015 / Gazprom’s website, Media)

Gazprom starts suspending gas contracts with Ukraine as Brussels fears limited transit to Europe

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

The US may be “open” to reviving TTIP, while the EU designs the future of trade with China

India’s Largest Entrepreneurship Event is Back! (23-24th August 2016)

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

w

Connecting to %s