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Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
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This study provides an overview of the situation of migrants from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in Germany, with this chapter particularly focusing on the labour market integration of EaP migrants, their access to social assistance and social services, and the impact of these flows on the German labour market. We then provide an informed view of the scope for future increased mobility between Germany and EaP countries, in the light of the skills needs and demographic trends expected in the next 10 to 20 years. Based on the results, the following conclusions can be drawn. More than half of EaP migrants come to Germany for work and study purposes. Family reunification is important for Ukrainians and Moldovans. Work and family purposes are the two main residence grounds for migrants from Moldova and Ukraine, while the other nationalities hold residence permits for reasons of study and work in most cases.
It is reasonable to expect steady migratory flows from Eastern Parntership nations in the future, and that migration would be a desirable phenomenon (based on the so-far advantageous migratory flows from EaP nations). They cause no negative wage effects on native workers.
These slides show how immigrants are at disproportionate risk of poverty (social exclusion) and how there does not seem to be any strong link between welfare generosity and immigration.
The 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the EU extended the freedom of movement to workers from the twelve new member states mainly from Central Eastern Europe. This study summarizes and comparatively evaluates what we know about mobility in an enlarged Europe to date. The pre-enlargement fears of free labor mobility proved to be unjustified. No significant detrimental effects on the receiving countries' labor markets have been documented, nor has there been any discernible welfare shopping. Rather, there appear to have been positive effects on EU's productivity. The sending countries face some risks of losing their young and skilled labor force, but free labor mobility has relieved them of some redundant labor and the associated fiscal burden. They have also profited from remittances. Of key importance for the sending countries is to reap the benefits from brain gain and brain circulation in an enlarged EU. For the migrants the benefits in terms of better career prospects have with little doubt exceeded any pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of migration. In conclusion, the freedom of movement in the EU provides for a triple-win situation for the receiving and sending countries as well as for migrants themselves, provided the risks are contained and efficient brain circulation is achieved.
Welfare participation is an important indicator of how successfully immigrants perform in the host country. This paper examines this issue for the UK, which has experienced a large growth in its immigrant flows and population levels in recent years, especially following EU enlargement in 2004. The analysis focuses in particular on the types of benefits that immigrants tend to claim as well as examining differences by area of origin. It also examines the factors that determine social benefit claims, including an investigation of the impact of education ethnicity and years since migration. Social welfare claims vary considerably by immigrant group as well as by the type of benefit claimed in the UK. There is also some variation by gender within the migrant groups.
This study provides the European Commission with an expert assessment of the main trends in the situation of migrants with regard to social assistance and access to social services, an in-depth analysis of the main determinants of these trends, and a comprehensive account of the mutual interaction of migration policies and broadly defined social assistance policies. Based on the existing evidence we conclude that there is no a priori evidence that migration would pose a burden on welfare systems. In our empirical analysis we use European Union-wide comparable micro-data (EU-SILC), a purpose-made macro-level dataset, country-specific studies and an own purpose-made Expert Opinion Survey.
A large part of the Italian welfare system is designed and implemented at the very local level, leading to a high degree of heterogeneity in the type and the generosity of available programs across the country. As a consequence, studies of welfare use based on standard household surveys may fail to consider a large part of welfare recipients and provisions. In this paper I overcome such a problem by combining the analysis of welfare use in the Italian sample of the European Survey of Incomes and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) with theinvestigation of a new administrative archive that contains information on means tests certificates needed for applying to all kind of locally administered welfare programs. Results show that, without controlling for observable characteristics, migrants from outside the EU are more likely to receive or apply for welfare. Once individual and household characteristics are controlled for, such a residual welfare dependency is greatly reduced but does not disappear Geographical location is a key factor, given that migrants tend to locate in therichest areas of the country, which also happen to be the ones where the local welfare is most generous.
This paper tests the differential effects of the generosity of the welfare state under free migration and under policy-controlled migration, distinguishing between source developing and developed countries. We utilize free-movement within the EU to examine the free migration regime and compare that to immigration into the EU from two other groups, developed and developing source countries, to capture immigration-restricted regimes. We standardize cross-country education quality differences by using the Hanushek-Woessmann (2009) cognitive skills measure. We find strong support for the "magnet hypothesis" under the free-migration regime, and the "fiscal burden hypothesis" under the immigration-restricted regime even after controlling for differences in returns to skills in source and host countries.
The issue of welfare receipt by immigrants is highly controversial across Europe. In this paper we assess whether immigrants are more likely to receive welfare payments relative to natives across a range of European countries. Using the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions for 2007, we find very little evidence that immigrants are indeed more likely to receive such payments when all payments are considered together. This is true whether we use raw data or regression analysis in which we control for relevant characteristics We do find evidence of higher rates of poverty among immigrants. When combined with the results on welfare receipt, this raises a question over the effectiveness of welfare systems in protecting immigrants from poverty across Europe.
There are two complementary models of immigrants' economic and social adjustment -- the positive assimilation model of Chiswick (1978, 1979), and the negative assimilation model of Chiswick and Miller (2011). The negative assimilation model is applicable for immigrants from countries that are very similar in terms of the transferability of skills, culture, and labor market institutions to the host country, and has been tested previously primarily using migration among the English-speaking developed countries. This paper generalizes the negative/positive assimilation models through analyzing the post-arrival learnings profiles of immigrants in the US from non-English-speaking countries according to the linguistic distance of their mother tongue from English. Using data on adult male immigrants from the 2000 US Census, it is shown that all groups of immigrants from non English-speaking countries are characterized by positive assimilation. Earnings in the immediate post-arrival period are lowest for the language groups furthest from English, and the increase in earnings with duration is steeper the further the immigrant's mother tongue is from English. The linguistic distance of the immigrants' mother tongue from the destination language appears, therefore, to play a crucial role in generating the inverse relationship between post-arrival earnings growth and the initial earnings disadvantage documented in most studies of immigrant earnings.
Are immigrants from the new EU member states a threat to the Western welfare state? Do they take jobs away from the natives? And will the source countries suffer from severe brain drain or demographic instability? In a timely and unprecedented contribution, this book integrates what is known about post-enlargement migration and its effects on EU labor markets. Based on rigorous analysis and hard data, it makes a convincing case that there is no evidence that the post-enlargement labor migrants would on aggregate displace native workers or lower their wages, or that they would be more dependent on welfare. While brain drain may be a concern in the source countries, the anticipated brain circulation between EU member states may in fact help to solve their demographic and economic problems, and improve the allocative efficiency in the EU. The lesson is clear: free migration is a solution rather than a foe for labor market woes and cash-strapped social security systems in the EU.
Negative perceptions about migrants in Europe, the Continent with the largest social policy programmes are driven by concerns that foreigners are a net fiscal burden. Paradoxically instruments of social inclusion are becoming a weapon of mass exclusion. Increasing concerns of public opinion are indeed pressing Governments, in the midst of the recession, to reduce welfare access by migrants or further tighten migration policies. Are there politically feasible alternatives to these two hardly enforceable (and procyclical) policy options? In thispaper we look at economic and cultural determinants of negative perceptions about migrants in Europe. Based on a simple model of the perceived fiscal effects of migration and on a largely unexploited database (EU-Silc), we find no evidence that legal migrants, notably skilled migrants, are net recipients of transfers from the state. However, there is evidence of " residual dependency" on non-contributory transfers and self-selection of migrants more likely to draw on welfare in the countries with the most generous welfare state. Moreover, redistribution does not find much support among those who are in favour of immigration. A way out of the migration into the welfare state dilemma facing Europe involves i. coordinating safety nets across the EU, ii. adopting explicitly selective migration policies, and iii.improving activation programmes. Other options -- such as restricting migration or welfareaccess by migrants -- are however on the agenda of national governments.
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