Tackling Emigration in EU Member States - The Welfare Dimension (6./7. Oktober 2022)

Der gemeinsam mit Martin Seeliger (IAW Bremen) und Christof Roos (Uni Flensburg) organisierte Workshop untersucht neue Dynamiken von Arbeitsmigration in der Europäischen Union.

Heterogeneity in economic development among countries is a major cause for labour migration. In the
European Union, rounds of Eastern enlargement have fundamentally increased these differences, and with
this development different kinds of labour migration, as (posted) workers or self-employed, have gained
importance, eased by the far-reaching rights to equal treatment that the EU’s acquis communautaire
includes. With the increase of intra-European mobility in the richer member states, possible negative
repercussions of free movement rights have been discussed more critically. The Brexit process, and the
politicisation of intra-EU migration stand out in this respect.
It is only relatively recently, that emigration countries receive more attention in the scholarly and political
debate. The extent of intra-EU labour migration clearly has major implications for these countries. Romania
stands out here, as about 20% of its working-age population has left the country. Potential negative
implications abound: Economically, development may suffer from brain-drain, and over-reliance on
remittances could inflict additional harm. Specific sectors, such as health, face severe problems, given the
extent of labour migration. Partly, emigration countries transform themselves into immigration countries
and compensate their loss of workforce. An example is the migration from Ukraine to Poland. Socially, some
regions have lost a significant amount of their population, with consequences especially for rural areas and
villages. For families, the so-called Euro orphans, whose parents work abroad and care is provided by the
extended family, are an issue. Politically, the migration particularly of well-trained persons has been argued
to play into the hands of illiberal regimes, as those supporting democracy may exit more easily, reducing the
scope for critical voice. Regarding the welfare state, the demographic repercussions of migration together
with the specific skill shortages, particularly in health, are as much an issue as the question of whether
return migration as well as the rules of EU social coordination have specific consequences for social
services. Consequently, there are increasing discussions in countries and at EU level about the cost of
emigration, that partly result in policy measures, such as higher child benefits, higher wages for specific
sectors, or tax benefits for certain groups, in order to counteract the development. On a theoretical level,
emigration has received scant attention as a variable in theories of EU (dis-) integration and the functioning
of the single market.

Aktualisiert von: iinis