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Boon or burden? Immigration and reform of European welfare states

  • Date(s)
    13 October 2008
  • Time
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Policy Network has held a high-level roundtable discussion entitled, “Boon or burden? Immigration and reform of European welfare states”, in London.

In the first session of the seminar senior experts and policymakers from across Europe critically examined certain prevailing perceptions about the impact of migration on the welfare state in different European countries. The session saw presentations from Andrew Geddes, professor of sociology at the University of Sheffield; Jörgen Goul Andersen, professor of political sociology at Aalborg University, Denmark; and Michael Fertig, research coordinator for the Reinisch-Westfalisches Insititut fur Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI), Essen, Germany.

The second session focused specifically on the interactions between immigration flows, immigration policies and efforts to reform Europe’s welfare states. The discussion explored the ways in which welfare reforms taking place in different European countries could be adapted in order to maximise the benefits of immigration for all. Presentations were given by Grete Brochmann, research director at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo and professor of sociology at the University of Olso, Norway; Martin Baldwin-Edwards, co-director of the Mediterranean Migration Observatory, Panteion University, Athens, Greece, and a research associate of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Vienna; and Grant Fitzner, chief economist and director of analytical services, Department for Communities and Local Government, UK.

The seminar was the final working meeting of Policy Network’s flagship research project, disentangling the myths from realities: Building a progressive centre-left narrative on labour migration, which has been supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. A detailed report of the seminar discussions is attached.

If you have any questions about the event, or the research programme, please contact Annie Bruzzone at abruzzone@policy-network.net.

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