8th European Integration Forum - The contribution of migrants to EU growth

16/17 October 2012,
Brussels, Belgium
- EIF forum

Organiser: European Commission, European Economic and Social Committee

8th EIF forum Photo 1  8th EIF forum Photo 2

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The 8th meeting of this consultative civil society platform took place against a backdrop of EU strategizing for “a job-rich recovery” from the economic crisis since 2008. The EU belief in economic growth remains sacrosanct and the Forum’s task was to explore how migration fits this agenda. While the EU faces a deepening shortage of highly skilled workers in certain sectors, there is no end in sight for high levels of unemployment of low-skilled people. How migrants can match labour market needs, was therefore one question for debate; how obstacles to the labour market integration of migrants can be overcome the other. A special focus was on migrant entrepreneurs. 57 representatives from national civil society organizations and 29 representatives from European civil society organizations joined Commission officials, members of the European Economic and Social Committee as well as some members of the European Parliament for debate.

Platform for Intercultural Europe delegate Tarafa Baghajati pleaded for efforts to promote migrants also in professions rooted in social sciences so that they become present in the intellectual leadership of societies. In technical professions, he pointed out, a lot more needed yet to be done to destroy the ‘glass ceiling’ and get more migrants into managerial positions. Tarafa also pointed to the responsibility of third sector organizations such as trade unions, religious organizations, cultural institutions and associations, to promote the employment and progression of migrants.

NGOs in the Forum generally agreed that the recognition of professional qualifications from Third Countries remains a major stumbling block for migrants on the way into the EU labour market. They also deplored that Europe-wide work permits for migrants are still no reality, and highlighted the urgent need to create solutions to the plight of undocumented migrants in the EU. Unfortunately, the Forum is not entitled to address conclusions and demands to the Member States governments.

See here the Forum's programme, presentations and report.

The 9th EIF will take place in June 2013.

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