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Calls for forward-looking policies on migration

The European Commission has called for a more coherent EU response to the challenges and opportunities of migration after analysing the 2012 and early 2013 developments in the areas of immigration and asylum.

This response includes reinforcing well-managed legal immigration and integration policies, and working on a more modern and efficient management of traveller flows at its external borders. It also requires stepping up the fight against trafficking in human beings and better addressing irregular migration while ensuring that the fundamental rights of immigrants and asylum seekers are guaranteed.

According to the EC, it will not be long until Europe starts to feel the impact of its ageing population and shrinking workforce. Even today, despite high levels of unemployment, there are around two million job vacancies across the EU, such as in the fields of health, information communication technologies, engineering, sales and finance. While immigration is not the only answer to fill skills gaps where they exist, it is certainly part of a common solution supportive of EU’s economic growth strategy.

The EC notes that negotiations on the Intra-Corporate Transferees and the Seasonal Workers Directives made progress in 2012, but further efforts are needed by the European Parliament and the Council to agree.

The Commission also hopes for swift progress on its proposal setting clearer and more consistent rules for non-EU nationals coming to the EU for studies, scientific research and other exchanges.

Above all, the Commission says that Member States must ensure that effective measures are in place to promote integration. Migrants should be able to develop their full potential in an environment where their fundamental rights are fully respected and where they can participate to our societies’ prosperity.

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