Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Labour Migrants Unbound? EU Enlargement, Transitional Measures and Labour Market Effects

20.06.2006
Labour Migrants Unbound?
EU Enlargement, Transitional Measures
and Labour Market Effects

Situation 2004-2006

Ten countries joined the European Union in 2004. At this moment 73 million new EU citizens acquired the right to settle in all other EU member states. But they did not get full access to the European labour market. Free mobility of labour and thus the free movement of workers were and remain temporarily postponed for up to seven years.

Initially 12 out of the 15 pre-enlargement EU member states restricted access to their labour markets for newly arriving citizens of new EU member states. During the period 2004-2006 Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom did not implement such restrictions. Only Sweden, however, fully applied European Community law, while the United Kingdom did so in practice, but safeguarded itself by curtailing access of newly arriving EU8 migrants to certain social welfare benefits. Countries like Austria, Italy and the Netherlands offered labour permits on a quota base.

In 2006 Finland, Greece, Portugal and Spain finally decided to give EU citizens from Central Europe and the Baltics (EU8) full access to their labour markets. In 2007 the Netherlands are likely to follow their example.

Study

The study “Labour Markets Unbound?” by Kristof Tamas and Rainer Münz is based on the analysis of available migration and labour market data as well as on four case studies. The study examines labour market effects of EU enlargement under different transitional regimes – liberal regimes in Sweden and the United Kingdom and restrictive regimes in Austria and Germany.

Main Results

The following results can be derived from the analysis:

- In total EU enlargement has let to increased legal migration from new member states in Central Europe and the Baltics (EU8) to Western Europe (EU15). The additional flow has been in the order of 200,000 to 300,000 people per year. This total amount is in line with earlier forecasts that had tried to assess the East-West migration potential during the first years after EU enlargement.

- Transitional restrictions implemented by 12 of the 15 “old” EU member states during the years 2004-2006 have diverted EU8 flows to the UK and Ireland. There the inflow of EU8 labour migrants has been well above levels projected in earlier forecasts.

- EU enlargement has also let to de facto legalization of several hundred thousand EU8 citizens who were irregular residents of EU15 prior to enlargement. A certain proportion of them have meanwhile found regular employment.

- In continental Europe transitional restrictions have definitely not reduced the size of the irregular migrant workforce.

- During the first two years since enlargement (2004-2006) the flow of labour from EU8 to EU15 seems to have been more demand-driven than regulated by the implemented transitional regimes.

- The United Kingdom and Ireland have experienced robust economic growth. There migrant labour from new EU member states has played a vital role in filling labour market gaps and expanding the workforce.

- The Swedish case shows, however, that legal access of EU8 citizens to a West European labour market does not automatically lead to considerable immigration. In this country tight regulations of wages and labour standards at “shop level” have prevented EU8 citizens from effectively competing with Swedish workers.

- Some EU15 countries that had opted for transitional restrictions during the period 2004-06 have also experienced economic migration from EU8. Countries like Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands continued to issue short-term permits to EU8 citizens (as this had already been the case prior to EU enlargement).

- In the case of Austria a flexible handling of short-term permits was able to bridge the tension between additional demand for labour and a restrictive implantation of transitory arrangements. As a result the number of EU8 workers – in particular from neighbouring Hungary and Slovakia – has increased since 2004.

- In Germany the inflow from EU8 – in particular from Poland – initially increased in 2004 despite an overall decline of migration flows to Germany. In 2005, however, unfavourable labour market conditions also seem to have reduced the inflow of additional labour migrants from EU8.

- As a result the share of EU8 labour has more or less remained stable in Germany (at 0.7 per cent of total labour force) and Sweden (at 0.2 per cent of total labour force) during 2003-2005. But they have doubled in Austria (from 0.7 to 1.4) and in the United Kingdom (from 0.2 to 0.4 of total labour force).

- Continued transitional measures also seem to be shielding some sections of the native labour force and service providers from additional competition. At the same time they have the effect of postponing foreseeable market adjustments.

- At the same time countries like Austria and Germany are reporting rapidly growing numbers of EU8 citizens who have registered as self-employed service providers. This can – at least partly – be interpreted as a way of circumventing transitional restrictions.

Hannah Zackrisson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.framtidsstudier.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>