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Shaping Europe’s Migration Policy: New Regimes for the Employment of Third Country Nationals: A Comparison of Strategies in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK. CEPS Working Document No. 179, December 2001

Apap, Joanna. (2001) Shaping Europe’s Migration Policy: New Regimes for the Employment of Third Country Nationals: A Comparison of Strategies in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK. CEPS Working Document No. 179, December 2001. [Working Paper]

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    During the 1990s, Justice and Home Affairs moved, in an unexpected way, to centre stage in the European debate. Concern had been growing about immigration policy since the Maastricht Treaty institutionalised the third pillar of the European Union. This concern had been stimulated by several factors – the persistence of irregular migration and tragic incidents, such as the one in Dover in July 2000 in which 58 Chinese nationals lost their lives trying to enter illegally into the United Kingdom, the need for immigrant workers in some sectors, and the spectre of an ageing European population. More generally, the Treaty of Amsterdam, since its entry into force in 1999, represents a major development in overall Justice and Home Affairs policy, and the implementation of the treaty provisions in Justice and Home Affairs was described as the next major EU initiative after the single currency. Moreover, the Conclusions of the European Council in Tampere (15th and 16th October 1999); gave an additional push for the adoption of the measures considered necessary for the realisation of an area of Freedom, Security and Justice, reaffirming traditional and integrating new principles in these fields. In March 2000, a very controversial report of the United Nations based on demographic considerations has been published (UN Secretariat ESA/P/WP.160). Resting on the analysis of the current population trends in the world and projections for the period 1995-2050, this report pleaded for "replacement immigration" in order to compensate for the inevitable population decline in Europe and in other parts of the world. The "provocative" observations of the report stimulated an intense public debate in the European press on this question, but they also contributed to re-open the issue on immigration in the European institutions and member states at a time of reflection on how to implement the new Amsterdam provisions. A proposal for a Directive dealing with the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purpose of paid employment and self-employed economic activities has been published on 11 July 2001, the same day as the publication of a Commission Communication on an open method of co-ordination for the Community immigration policy. Migration alone is unlikely to be the answer to Europe’s demographic problem. Policies for legal migration of labour can also be coupled with other less politically sensitive ways, which could reduce the governments’ costs of an ageing population, such as increasing labour force participation among older people and women. Some EU member states have already developed concrete policy initiatives to address on one hand labour market shortages as well as the increasing demographic issue. This paper examines the evolving laws in the field of labour immigration in four countries: UK, Germany; Sweden and the Netherlands, situating the policies being developed in the overall European context.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > immigration policy
    Countries > U.K.
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > law & legal affairs-general (includes international law)
    Countries > Netherlands
    Countries > Germany
    Countries > Sweden
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Working Documents
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2004
    Page Range: p. 30
    Last Modified: 15 Dec 2014 17:26

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