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The Step by Step Change to Selective Migration Policy―The Case of German Labor Migration Policy in Last Decade

Kuboyama, Ryo (2015) The Step by Step Change to Selective Migration Policy―The Case of German Labor Migration Policy in Last Decade. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    Introduction: Investigating the recent migratory movements, above all the recent increasing migration from the southern European countries to Germany, we can find influence of the economic (financial) crisis in it. However, despite economic crises in Europe, the governments in Europe have never been closing the door for the labor migrants from third countries outside EU, and the many governments increasingly have been opening the door wider for the skilled migrants and care workers from third countries. Overviewing the development of the immigration policy of the European countries in last one and a half decade, we can observe the change from the ‘zero-immigration policy’ to the ‘selective immigration policy’, in which the governments promote the ‘desirable migration’, namely the migration of the highly-skilled as well as the skilled engaging in the type of job being scarce in a domestic labor market, while the governments and EU try to constrain ‘undesirable migration’, refugee migration and irregular migration. Several state like the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Denmark have introduced harsh measures against family reunion by imposing a language test or a test with questions about knowledge about the society and the institutions of host country or some restrictive requisites on applicants, in order to select migrants of family reunification and if possible decrease the volume of migration for family reunion. Parallel to the change to selective immigration policy, integration policy also has transformed in the direction of emphasizing the improvement of social and language skills and selecting immigrants by connecting the achievement of the integration course with the renewal of residence permit and advantage in naturalization. The core of ‘selective immigration policy’ is the flexible management and selection of immigration, not any more restriction nor limitation of immigration based on the static ideas, adapting to the shifting paradigms of state intervention in national economy and the supply of welfare as well as manpower; it is combined with the enhancing restraint on ‘not desirable’ migration like illegal migration and family union, and with the ‘selective’ integration policies, in part, in the sense of Joppke’s (2007) ‘civic integration.’ Rather than focusing on the adaptation and incorporation of entire immigrants to national society on some universalist and assimilationist principle, the selective immigrant policy centers on the competence and competitiveness of immigrants, growing language and life skills of them, promoting the incorporation of ‘competent’ immigrants and excluding ‘burdensome’ immigrants, on the principle of utility and selection (Kuboyama 2008). This paper deals with the transformation from zero-immigration policy to selective immigration policy developed in Germany in last decade, mentioning similar cases in other European countries. The paper is composed of two parts. In the first part, I show how several major host states in Europe, above all German and the United Kingdom, put the zero-immigration policy behind to take a course of selective policy from the late 1990s to the beginning 2000s. Germany failed to carry out the reform of immigration policy planned because of power relationship in party politics, as Germany enacted Immigration Act in 2004. The second part elucidates how Germany has constructed step by step selective migration policy, not only in the field of labor migration policy, but in other areas of migration policy, leading to the establishment of the system of selecting immigration and immigrants. The paper is based on the analysis of documents including parliamentary protocols, print media (on the web site), and secondary literature, and the interviews with ministry officers, regional office officers, members responsible for migration policy of labor unions and business circle and civil society actors.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > employment/unemployment
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 17:16
    Number of Pages: 27
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 17:16

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