Adrian Marius Dobre

The migration triggered by economic motivations, within European labour market, can be an effective tool in stabilizing the labour market and in equlibrating the unemployment rate in the eurozone, but also in other affected European countries. The euro area and especially the most vocal states against immigration and free movement in the labour market are the most advantaged ones, enjoying major economic benefits.
The states that should express their concern regarding immigration are exactly those who lose their labour force, be it high-skilled or not.

Do vocal critics deny benefits?

The Romanian specialized media presented a couple of studies that show how Romanians support the host countries’ economies. For example, the immigrants in the United Kingdom, most of them overqualified, are more hard-working and receive fewer social benefits than the British citizens, according to two studies published by British research centers.
One of the reports, published by University College London (UCL), shows that immigrants, mainly the European ones, have had a “significant fiscal contribution” to the British budget during 2001-2011. “The recent immigrants, i.e. those who came after 2000, tend to receive less social benefits than the British”, says the study.
Besides dismantling the myth of “social system abuse”, the study shows that immigrants paid towards the British state about 25 billion pounds (30 billion euros).
Another report, published by the National Institute for Economic and Social Studies (NIESR), shows that during 1997-2007 the immigrants’ presence had increased in most economic sectors. “The immigrants have a higher level of education and work more hours than the British workers”, adds the report, highlighting the productivity of the foreigners employed in UK.
The migration defenders states are affected by depriving!
Instead, the situation is not as encouraging for the ‘donor’ states.
Romania is one eye laughing and one eye crying. On one hand she is praised for her highly qualified workforce exports, which help other economies, and on the other hand she is criticized because the Romanians occupy the jobs destined to the host countries’ citizens.
We cannot forget to emphasize that we are challenged by a populist speech, an electoral one, yet the current situation is becoming a big problem for Romania and for the rest of Europe.
The brain drain generates a lack of equilibrum that is quantified through investments in education, state expenditure and society in general, impossible to use. The increased phenomon of high-skills workers mmigration has consequences reflected in all society sectors, be it economic or social ones. The respective country becomes less and less competitive, its innovation degree decreases, so the prerequisites for economic growth and development are loosening.
More precisely, the investors are not anymore attracted by such a market simply because they don’t have work force to hire, and the national economic sectors become irrelevant because there is no qualified human resources to keep them competitive. The national workforce offer diminishes significantly; it creates a skills shortage, increases the aging population, and lowers the training level (in relation to demand), all these leading to a deep structural crisis.
The labour market liberalization needs measures to cover these structural deficiencies and to encourage the European work system for the benefit of all, as was initially thought, endorsed and embraced, according to EU treaties.
The European labor market adrift
The most important aspect, which also should be highlighted, is that the European demography state is not in accordance with the attitude of the developed countries’ leaders. An aging population, which is also decreasing, will cause more and more labor market imbalances. It will generate a labor shortage that could be adjusted precisely through free movement of labour.
A United Nations study shows that Europe will not overcome the crisis without “importing” people. In order to be able to respond to the economic challenges, the UE will have to annually attract up to 6.1 million specialists (people with higher education or skilled in a technical profession) between 2015-2040.
We see the unemployment rate getting higher; meanwhile, the employers say they fail to hire people for vacancies. As a paradox of a labour market filled with unemployed, the employers complain that they don’t have qualified and competitive employees, in terms of cost, and they relocate to Asia, Africa or wherewere they cover their specialists deficit.
The lack of well-trained and flexible workforce (and I don’t mean just higher education, but rather improved segments and applied fields) decreases competitiveness – particularly the European industrial and high technology one.
The reluctance in approaching free movement in the EU labor market discourages foreign investors to come in Europe. Thus appears a vicious circle, maintained by speeches and by the lack of constructive and visionless political reaction.
The studies reveal that we were already in the “human resource” era, and in this context, overcoming the crisis is attributed to the employers’ ability to cover the specialists’ deficit. Only by implementing a proactive recruitment and development strategy, employers can ensure their competitiveness; thus the wheels of the entire European economy system may be set in motion.
In this context, there must be canceled the concept difference between free movement of persons in the European space and free movement of labor. In an era of deepening integration (as a necessary condition for the survival of the European project), an artificial conceptual difference maintained between the free movement of persons versus free movement of labor is becoming obsolete.
Therefore, migration should be viewed from a different angle, from that of major benefits brought to destination countries and serious, deep and long-term deprivations brought to home countries. The labour migration is ultimately a natural and adjusting phenomenon. Manifesting itself in a democratic and mature framework, with healthy policy, it can be a tool without whom Europe will fail entering on a path of prosperity, welfare and development.

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