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

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

India is building a high-tech sustainable city from scratch

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

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

Further reforms can foster more inclusive labour markets in The Netherlands

Amsterdam is developing a fleet of autonomous boats to reduce city traffic

European Youth Forum welcomes adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and calls on European countries to not ignore them!

Europe should make voice ‘more heard’ in today’s ‘dangerous world,’ says UN chief

If we can build the International Space Station, ‘we can do anything’ – UN Champion for Space

Draghi cuts the Gordian knot of the Banking Union

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

Bias in AI is a real problem. Here’s what we should do about it

Cutting money transfer fees could unlock $15bn for developing countries. Here’s how

The EU banking union needs a third pillar guaranteeing deposits

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

Bankers don’t go to jail because they are more equal than us all

Drone regulation is necessary to democratize the sky for humanity

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

Inflation down to 0.7%, unemployment up at 12.2%: Bad omens for Eurozone

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

EU Commission closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panel imports?

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

Sustainability is now mission critical for businesses. Here’s why

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

This woman solved one of the biggest problems facing green energy

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate Change needs to be demystified”, Anneli Jättenmäki Vice President of European Parliament underscores from Brussels

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Eurozone close to agreeing on a Banking Union

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

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

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

It’s Brexit again: Nigel Farage launches a personal campaign to lead the ‘No’ front

Viktor Orbán, Hungarian Prime Minister, at a 2015 event in Brussels, Berlaymont. (Copyright: European Union , 2015; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Lieven Creemers)

Hungary and Ireland build front to say no to EU tax harmonisation plan

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

The increasing drug prices in Europe

A new crop of EU ‘Boards’ override the democratic accountability and undermine the EU project

Parliament approves €500 million for schooling of refugee children in Turkey

A neo-liberal toll free Paradise for the super rich and tax hell for wage earners

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

All sides in Yemen conflict could be guilty of war crimes, UN experts find

EU leaders slammed on anti-tax evasion inaction and expensive energy

Commerce is on the cusp of radical change. Is your organization ready?

China and China-EU Relations in the New Era

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

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

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

The Future of Balkans: Embracing Education

One year on: EU-Canada trade agreement delivers positive results

Why Eurozone needs a bit more inflation

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 )

Connecting to %s