Migration and Brain Drain

01 May 2012

The House of Lords Home Affairs EU Sub-Committee has today invited contributions to their new inquiry, which will be investigating the European Commission’s Communication on a Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM).

The Commission has proposed that the GAMM should have four thematic policy priorities:

  • Promoting better governance of migration;
  • preventing and reducing illegal immigration and human trafficking;
  • supporting the implementation of international protection standards for asylum seekers and refugees in third countries; and
  • maximising the development impact of migration and mobility.

The Government’s sceptical position on many elements of the GAMM is a reflection of their overall position on EU migration policy, an area where they are often at odds with the Commission. Areas highlighted by the Government as of particular concern include labour migration and access to social security for migrants who have never worked in the UK.

While they are more positive about other aspects of the GAMM, such as preventing ‘brain drain’ (the large-scale emigration of individuals with valuable technical skills or knowledge) and increased EU cooperation to prevent illegal migration, they have chosen not to opt in to many of the legislative acts identified by the Commission as key tools for facilitating improvement.

The Committee will look into the overall effectiveness of the plans outlined in the EU’s Communication and will evaluate the impact of the UK’s decision not to sign up to many of the EU’s legislative migration measures. It will also present recommendations to the Government on how the external dimension of the EU’s migration policy can function better.

Specific areas the Committee will be investigating include:

  • which elements of the Global Approach are the most/least effective and what changes should be made;
  • whether there is a case for continuing to facilitate migration into the EU;
  • how much of an issue ‘brain drain’ is for the EU;
  • whether the EU and the UK are paying enough attention to the integration of migrants into the EU labour markets; and
  • whether the fact that the UK has not opted into many external migrations measures is an issue both at national and European levels.

The Committee would encourage anyone who has an interest to contribute to this debate. For the full call for evidence, list of questions, and information about how to submit evidence to the inquiry, The European Commission’s Communication on a Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, please see the website.

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