EU executive to urge migrant integration policies

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sat Jun 14 17:31:09 UTC 2008

EU executive to urge migrant integration policies
Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:27am

BRUSSELS, June 13 (Reuters) - EU member states need to agree better
integration policies for migrants, set up joint visa centres abroad
and identify labour needs, the bloc's executive will say on Tuesday in
proposals for a common migration policy. Immigration is a sensitive
issue in the 27-nation European Union, where pressure to admit more
migrants to fill jobs vacated by an ageing population clashes with
voters' fears. "(Migration) has an important role to play in
increasing the EU's growth potential, contributing to the prosperity
of many member states by reducing labour market shortages," the
European Commission is to say, according to a draft obtained by
Reuters. "This economic potential can only be realised if integration
into the host country labour market is successful."

The EU executive wants both EU member states and migrants to commit to
better integration. An EU official said more detailed ideas in the
document for how to improve integration were likely to be omitted from
the final version, w hich would stop short of endorsing a French idea
for an integration contract signed by migrants. Paris is drafting an
EU migration pact it hopes the bloc's leaders will adopt in October.
An early version included the idea of asking migrants to learn the
language and values of the country they live in.

The Commission suggested each EU state establish "migration profiles"
that give an overview of the labour market and of existing immigrants
and identifies additional needs. The EU would work together to assess
needs up to 2020. It also calls for better cooperation with countries
of origin of migrants and proposes to set up abroad consular centres
common to all EU states. A number of EU states, led by Germany, have
so far resisted agreeing common steps on legal migration to preserve
national control over the labour market.

"No member state can effectively control or deal with all aspects of
immigration on their own," the draft text said, since national
policies affect the rest of the bloc. (Editing by Paul Taylor)

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