To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

charlie

Written by Arif Shala, Executive Director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies

Arif Shala

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.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Here are 10 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspirational quotes

Innovation can transform the way we solve the world’s water challenges

Can indoor farming feed the world?

Protection of workers from biological agents: how to classify COVID-19

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

Voice tech and the question of trust

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

All States have ‘primary responsibility’ to protect against hate attacks

Achieving a European Education Area by 2025 and resetting education and training for the digital age

UN rights chief says ‘bar must be set very high’ for investigation of murdered Saudi journalist

We dream of being a part of the European family, says FYROM PM

Execution of juvenile offender in Iran ‘deeply distressing’ – UN rights chief

More than 90 per cent of Africa migrants would make perilous Europe journey again, despite the risks

Faith can overcome religious nationalism. Here’s how

Diversity training doesn’t change people’s behaviour. We need to find out what does

From violence to dialogue: as land conflicts intensify, UN boosts efforts to resolve disputes through mediation

Embracing technology as a service will fuel the circular economy. Here’s how.

Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

EU Parliament and Council: Close to agreement on the bank resolution mechanism

Technology as an inclusion method while facing the COVID-19 pandemic: the “Coronavirus-SUS” app

Plastic waste from Western countries is poisoning Indonesia

‘Unconscionable’ to kill aid workers, civilians: UN Emergency Coordinator

Facebook has built an AI-based tool that fixes the social network when it crashes

CO2 emissions around the world

Coronavirus: Using European supercomputing, EU-funded research project announces promising results for potential treatment*

4 ways to keep the momentum rolling on mental health

How COVID-19 could open the door for driverless deliveries

The future of manufacturing is smart, secure and stable

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

South Korea wants to build three hydrogen-powered cities by 2022

Gaps being closed- medical students uplifting women’s right

Microsoft says the internet is getting a little nicer

This Japanese concept will help you see the world – and learn – in a different way

Stage set for successful 2020 Burundi elections, Foreign Minister tells General Assembly

How digital identity can improve lives in a post-COVID-19 world

Will the European Court of Justice change data privacy laws to tackle terrorism?

Palestinian children’s education deeply impacted by ‘interference’ around West Bank schools, UN warns

‘InvestEU’ programme: big boost for jobs, growth and investment

A day in the life of a refugee: We should be someone who helps

EU and Japan select first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes

Can climate change action lead to better inclusion?

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

EU car manufacturers worry about an FTA with Japan

Here’s how retailers can encourage more sustainable behaviour

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

Here are 5 reasons why the ocean is so important

‘Terminator’ warlord Bosco Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years in prison for DR Congo atrocities

5 ways to reduce risk while fuelling IT innovation and growth

Public opinion misled by the Commission on air transport safety

British PM May’s Brexit proposal remains obscure while her government unravels

Most ‘precious’ and ‘scarce’ resource of our time is dialogue, UN chief tells Doha policy forum

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

3 steps to boost your digital safety while working from home

How to have a good Fourth Industrial Revolution

UN honours fallen colleagues and friends who ‘risk all to promote peace’

The winds of change: 5 charts on the future of offshore power

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

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

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

Colombia: ‘Significant strides’ towards integrated peace, UN envoy tells Security Council

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Migration can have positive socio-economic effects but it mostly depends on the type of migrantion. It is far more enlightening to look at Western and non-Western migration for example (or high skilled vs low skilled). Naturalization puts extra responsibilities on migrants which many simply do not want.(learning language, citizenship courses) Many migrants also benefit from special tax regulations and other laws designed to attract skilled migrants. Likewise many do want to be citizens of the country in which they reside.

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