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European Commission


Brussels, 13 June 2013

Employment: Commissioners Malmström and Andor welcome the new OECD report on international migration trends

European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström and László Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, have welcomed the OECD report International Migration Outlook 2013, published today.

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: "Demographic changes and skills shortages in certain sectors are a reality. The question is not whether we need migrants but how to make the most of migration. We of course need to make use of the skills and talents we already have in Europe, but at the same time, in order to ensure our future prosperity and economic growth, we need to establish a demand driven labour immigration policy. We need to make Europe an attractive destination to go to."

Commissioner Andor said: "The new OECD report confirms a slight recovery in cross-border mobility flows at EU level following the drop at the onset of the crisis, especially from countries the most affected by unemployment. It underlines how labour mobility benefits both the individual workers and Member States' economies. It can play a key role to better match skills' demand and supply across the EU. The report also rebuts the myth that migrants constitute a burden for the welfare states - they are not more recipients of benefits than natives. This is even truer for EU mobile citizens as most of them are workers."

The OECD report analyses the recent trends in international migration, the labour market situation of migrants and two topics of high interest at EU level: the fiscal impact of migration and how to measure and tackle discrimination again immigrants. It also calls upon governments to adapt migration policies to promote economic migration in order to tackle shortages in the short-run but also long-term challenges such as demographic ageing.

The report clearly shows that migrant's labour market situation has worsened over the past years, both in terms of absolute levels and compared with the nationals' situation. According to Eurostat data at EU level the unemployment rate among third-country nationals increased from 14% in 2008 to 21% in 2012 - versus from 7 to 10% for nationals. In addition, the employment rate of third-country nationals is much below the average and this is particularly the case among women and high-skilled immigrants.

The OECD report points out that raising immigrants' employment rate to that of the nationals would result in substantial gains, notably in European OECD countries. In this context, the European Commission proposed recommendations on labour market integration of migrants for a number of Member States in its Country-Specific Recommendations published at the end of May (IP/13/463).

As the report emphasizes despite the difficulties to measure discrimination of migrants, many studies conclude that there remain many cases of discrimination against immigrants in the hiring process. As underlined in the Social Investment Package adopted by the Commission in February 2013 (IP/13/125, MEMO/13/117, MEMO/13/118), 'labour markets are not yet inclusive' and it remains particularly true for immigrants. Against this background, the EU supports integration and anti-discrimination policies, beyond the existing EU legal framework that forbids discrimination.

Link to the OECD report "International Migration Outlook 2013":

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