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MUN 2015

Advisory Panel to the European Union


Immigration to the European Union

I.

EU, Immigration and the Role of Advisory Board


The Advisory panel to the European Union is a specialized advisory board that provides
expertise and advice on thematic migrant rights issues and proposes suggestions for further
research. It was established to balance the immigration policies of European Union so that the
countries would not trespass the International Human rights under the Declaration on the Rights
of Individuals who are Not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live (1985) and Convention
(No. 143) concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion of Equality of
Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers). The advisory council also acts as a check on
the policies of the twenty-seven countries in European Union. It is pertinent to note that this is
important because even though each of the twenty-seven countries is a part of the European
Union but it still has its own policies on foreign worker programs, ways for the immigrants to
obtain citizenship, unemployment rates, and inheritance of citizenship. The process of applying
and getting citizenship- in most cases the end goal for many immigrant workers- is usually slow
and expensive.
The goal of the Advisory panel is therefore important and focused solely on helping the twenty
seven countries in European Union to increase the level of social security of the migrant workers.
Furthermore, over the past years it has broadened its scope by including the regulation of laws
and regulation of administrative authorities in the respective countries as an issue to be resolved

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MUN 2015
Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

and highlighted within the countries so that the laws in these respective countries would mirror
the over-arching goals of Advisory board and in particular the European Union.
The advisory council propagates the view that for reaching its goals the European Union needs to
revisit some of its policies and that there is a need for close co-operation between the European
Union, United Nations and specialized committees. In order to reach this goal it pursues ensuring
this continued and close co-ordination so that the goals can be achieved in the shortest period of
time.

II.

Immigration to the European Union: Historical perspective and


Background

There have been large movements of population within the European Union in the past because
of a number of reasons in different eras and time periods. These eras include the period followed
by the late middle ages and post-classical era, for the reasons ranging from Reformation to the
European wars of religion. Similarly, this also happened immediately after the Second Great
War.
Today this is not an issue largely because of the reason that under the Schengen agreement the
natives and citizens of any one of these countries can freely move to any other country that is
part of the European Union.
Countries in European Union themselves had the highest ratio of flight of population and
immigration out of them in 1960s and 70s. This immigration was in most cases to United States
of America, Australias and to other European countries that are part of the European Union
today.
The relative economic prosperity of the European countries a few years after the second Great
War and the eventual revival of the economy of the countries in the European Union have
brought about a transformation in the immigration trends. Today there is clear reversal of these
trends and within two decades these countries have become the destination for the immigrant
workers around the globe because of the higher wages and pay rates offered to them. Both
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MUN 2015
Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

skilled and non-skilled labor earns more on average than in their native countries and hence these
countries in the European Union have become a magnet for workers and individuals looking for
immigration. Over the past few decades (since Schengen agreement was signed in 1985) the
demand and advantage of citizenship in an EU country increased phenomenally because the
same laws of EU are applicable to all the countries.

III.

Immigration to European Union and its problems.

The problems regarding immigration to European Union range from the dangerous and often
illegal ways the potential migrants use for reaching their destinations to the violence, abuse and
exploitation the workers may face when they reach these countries. People have moved from one
region to another and this phenomena existed even before the demarcation of boundaries
between the countries themselves. Therefore, it can be safely said that the vulnerability of
foreign workers in European Union is by no means a new concept. In many instances it is the
genuinely free and informed choice of the migrant workers that leads them to look for
opportunities outside their native countries. On the hand, the over-riding majority of immigrants
who look for relocation to European Union consist of those people who want to move because of
being stuck in a cycle of poverty, having indecent work, being socially excluded, and being
caught in an armed conflict1. Other such reasons can include xenophobia, human rights violation
and even environmental degradation. Any one of these aforementioned reasons can make the
migrants resort to many illegal ways which include- but are not limited to - seeking help from
smugglers and subsequently-in their quest of moving out of their home country- falling prey to
human traffickers. Similarly, even at the places the migrants live or work they can be a target of
racism and be exploited in their public, private and social life instead of being welcomed and
amalgamated into society they have become a part of. The problems of workers are not limited to
this as the illegal migrant can get stranded in transit because of being caught on their way to their
destination which leads not only to their inability to move forward but also being subjected to
long detentions which can stretch from a few months to a year.
There are a series of other problems that have risen from the immigration as the inhabitants of
the host countries felt that they were being overlooked and a large share of the work and their
1

http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Migration/MigrationHR_improvingHR_Report.pdf

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Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

employment opportunities were being reduced because of the increased competition they faced
from the migrant workers for the jobs.
An issue felt keenly in many countries in European Union is that some of the governments feel
that they are already overcrowded. Therefore, an influx of migrant could possibly lead to a
rapid fall in the living standard of the natives. For instance -as the case study that will follow
shows in detail- a rapid increase in the population due to migration could also lead to acute
housing shortages, congestion and urban pollution. Therefore, while analyzing the increase in
GDP we have to see the effect on quality of life.
Another issue that rises from migration and is of primary concern for countries is whether and
to what extent- the migrant worker drive down the wage rates. One perspective is that there will
definitely a decrease in the wages because of an increase in supply of labor. This follows the
basic law of demand and supply. In addition to that, there are instances of supernormal drop in
wage rates in the European Union because the foreign workers are in a urgent need of getting a
job and may be willing to bypass the traditional union bargaining. For instance if the wages are
low in a particular market like agriculture, the falling wages in these markets would be a high
possibility as the work force from a low income country will certainly drive down the wages 2.
In addition to the problems in the host countries there are various issues that the migrants face in
their quest to be amalgamated into the society. The residents of a country in EU are the passport
holders or citizens of another country who have a legal right to live there. Unfortunately, the
residents/migrants are usually ignorant of the laws of the country and the way to apply for
citizenship. This problem usually arises from expensive legal advice and because the dealings
with the government officials are usually in a foreign language.
The migrants can be largely classified into four broad categories and the laws to deal with them
also differ. The largest category of those seeking migration is for work or employment purposes.
The economic migrant can be defined as someone who has travelled from one country to another
for purposes of seeking employment or for an improvement in his/her financial position.
Therefore, an economic migrant differs from a refugee in all respects. The other categories
include families and student seeking migration. The last two categories can be defined as asylum
2

http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/6399/economics/impact-of-immigration-on-uk-economy/

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Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

seekers and Illegal migrants. Illegal migrants enter clandestinely usually helped by a contact or
relative who helps them in doing so- while others overstay their visas. Yet some others dont go
home even after their asylum applications have been refused by the government authorities.
The illegal workers themselves face many problems if they try to enter EU illegally. The deaths
at sea are an instance of how workers desperately trying to get into Europe fail to do so because
of capsizing boats. These deaths are usually unaccounted for and the statistics are far more than
those reported. A case in point is of 1500 people who died in their desperate attempt to reach the
shores, according to the human rights watch. This shows that there is an urgent need for EU to
respond to problems pertaining boat migration as instances of deaths at in the Mediterranean
because of hunger are particularly disturbing and alarming. These deaths only stand to
underscore the need for increased vigilance.

IV. Solutions to the Problems of Immigration to EU


There are a number of solutions that have been put forward to deal for the various problems that
have been caused by the Immigration to EU. Some analysts and independent agencies have
articulated that the problems have been blown out of proportion and subsequently presented a
number of solutions for the issues rising from migration.
The Blue card is one example of how the EU has come up with an idea of solving the problems
regarding work migrants. The blue card was initially presented by the EC and offered a easier
way for non-EU citizens to apply for a work permit. The blue card holders have a series of rights
such as favorable family reunification. This was introduced for easier mobility of migrants to EU
so that they could easily move from a state to another to look for jobs.
In addition to the aforementioned step, the European Union has also published a EU
Immigration Guide that provides the migrants with an easy and simple step by step information
and directions they can follow in order to apply and get residence and work permits. This guide
is in plain and easy English but unfortunately many migrants are ignorant of the procedures. In
other cases, the legal fees is high and the low-income migrants cannot afford getting a legitimate
stay permit or the legal fee in order to get one.

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MUN 2015
Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

Many independent agencies have therefore advised the European Union governments to give a
official amnesty to the illegal migrants. The governments, however are opposed to an official
amnesty that amnesties- when given in the past by some countries that are part of EU todayencouraged illegal immigration.
Another way to curb illegal immigration and its problems can be to maintain a border security
force in EU which is capable of maintaining the security on an increased scale. Unmanned aerial
vehicles, cameras and sensors can help curb the illegal immigration too.
Instead of using raw force in order to stop the migrants another more effective way can be to
promote economic development and good governance in South Asia and Somalia. This will
reduce the disparity in the standard of living in the two countries. The EU can also give
temporary-worker program so that there can be rotating workforce that can stay legally in
European countries for a limited time period. This can help reduce the illegal economic
Immigration.

V.

Current Status of Immigrants in the European Union and their Impact

The impact of migration depends on a number of factors:

The first question is whether the migrants are skilled workers or not. Currently Great
Britain is strictly allowing only the skilled and qualified workforce.

The ease with which the workers are able to become a part of the society is also of
immense importance. For instance, during the second half of the twentieth century
migrants belonged mainly to the sub-continent and because of their poor English were
subjected to racial discrimination and were unable to get any good jobs.

The effect of the influx of migrants and its impact is also dependent on the age group of
the workers. A high percentage of middle-aged workers would mean that the migrant
population would use less government budget as this would also help in the reduction of
dependability ratio.

The type of skills of the labor force is also important as the skilled labor has a higher
chance of returning to their home countries. Whereas, the unskilled workers are more
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Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

likely to stay in the country they have migrated to because of being structurally
unemployed in instances of recession.

The immigrants send remittances to their kin and facilities abroad which substantially
reduces the wealth of Great Britain leading to the flight of capital. In other instances the
migrants can use the facilities of the host countries such as education etc. and becoming a
source of foreign income.

The most pertinent question is whether the Great Britain in the past has been able to
absorb the large intake of migrants and to what extent it has affected the public services,
housing and the levels of congestion in the largest cities across EU.

VI. Immigration to Great Britain and the problems.


With the British Nationality Act of 1948 the subjects were granted the right to live and work in
the United Kingdom. This meant that the citizens of the Commonwealth countries (or the
population of countries which were under British control as a dominion or colony) were not
subject to immigration control. Therefore, there was a phenomenal rise in immigration to UK.
The total flight of man power to the United Kingdom during this period, from January 1955 till
1962 June, was estimated to be at around 472003.
From 1962 onwards a series of immigration controls were passed to restrict the immigration
from Commonwealth countries. This resulted in considerable decrease in the rate at which
immigrants moved to UK. It was restricted to about seventy-five thousand a year. Over the past
few decades Great Britain has experienced many episodes of mass migration. Nonetheless, for
over a thousand years the scale of migration to United Kingdom was very small as compared to
the influx of migrants between the second Great War and the late 1990s. Even during this period
of time the scale of migration was relatively low. Breaking down this time period will further
illuminate the current situation in Britain. Foreign migration grew at a relatively stable rate
between 1971 and 1980 but the rate was unprecedented after the 1990s. The statistics show that
the migration during this time period dwarfs the migration before this decade.
3

(http://www.migrationwatchuk.com/Briefingpaper/document/48

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Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

The foreign migrants came mainly from Somalia, Pakistan and India. And the migrants settled
mainly in large cities to seek employment. Therefore, London has the largest immigrant
population in Britain and has completely altered the demographics of the metropolis. The largest
effect of migration was on the difference between the governments expectations of the extent to
which the population would multiply and the reality. This resulted in the shortage and
misallocation of services as more than fifty percent of the net increase in the population of UK
was directly contributed by the increase in net migration4.
The Net migration graph shows the effect migration will have from the year 2012 to 2037. Over
the many years Great Britain has experienced many problems because of the influx of migrant
population. These problems include- but are not limited to the local inhabitants feeling insecure
in their country and starting physical and verbal racist attacks on the foreign migrants. The large
number of immigrants meant that there was an increase in the total workforce that led to a
decrease in the wage rates as the supply increased relative to the demand. Many economists
opine that the immigration led to an increase in the employment rates. Migrants have therefore
been blamed by the native populace for taking our jobs- especially in the periods of high
unemployment.
The following chart illustrates the projected increase in population and differentiates the increase
in population because of Net migration from the natural change in population (assuming that
there is no net-migration)

http://www.migrationwatchuk.com/Briefingpaper/document/48

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Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

VII. Questions regarding Immigration to EU:


1. Will immigration to European Union decrease the disparity between the rich and poor around
the world by redistributing wealth and through the remittances that are sent.
2. Is allowing emigrants and relaxing the immigration laws a better way of improving the quality
of life around the third world countries than simply giving aid (which in many of these countries
have a high chance of being misappropriated)?
3. Should the European Union relax its laws on giving immigrant workers and their families the
citizenship and increase the quota for asylum seekers?
4. Should the countries like Great Britain enforce more stringent check and reduce the influx of
immigrant? Would impact would their policies have?

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Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

5. To what extent should the laws and regulations for the migrant workers, illegal migrants, and
asylum seekers differ?
6. Is it the responsibility of countries that are a part of EU to monitor the Mediterranean to stop
the deaths at sea of workers wishing to enter Europe?

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MUN 2015
Advisory Panel to the European Union
Immigration to the European Union

Bibliography.
1. file:///C:/Users/rht11/Downloads/Economic%20and%20Social%20Committee%20The%20Financial%20Implications%20of%20Humanitarian%20Aid%20 (Sample)
%20(1).pdf
2. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Migration/MigrationHR_improvingHR_Report.pdf
3. http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/6399/economics/impact-of-immigration-on-uk-economy/
4. http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/11.28
5. http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/11.17
6. http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/06/24/eu-summit-misses-opportunity-migration
7. http://solutions.heritage.org/immigration

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