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Tracking migration trends in Europe during recession and recovery

  • Date(s)
    7 July 2009
  • Time
    09.00 - 13.00
  • Location

The first seminar of Policy Network’s new research project on managing migration in times of economic turbulence, entitled “Tracking migration trends in Europe during recession and recovery” took place in London on 7 July 2009.

There has been much speculation in the media and among policy circles about the effects of the recession on flows of migrants to and from Europe. There is increasing fear that continuing levels of inward migration will result in rising unemployment and pressure on public spending, but in fact there are still large gaps in our knowledge about migration patterns and their economic and policy implications.

The aim of this seminar was firstly to explore what we know about how the recession is affecting migration flows in European countries, and secondly to assess if the current emphasis on curbing migration will aid economic recovery or whether different policies are needed.

Phil Woolas, UK minister of state for borders and immigration gave the keynote speech on recession and international migration announcing that he is considering adding an ethical dimension to the UK points-based system. Emeritus Professor John Salt provided the opening address with an analysis of the latest data on migration trends in the UK, and evidence from across Europe on how past recessions have affected migration flows.  Rainer Münz then elaborated on the labour market implications of these trends and suggested ways in which governments should respond. In a final panel discussion, senior British, Dutch and French politicians will discussed the political ramifications of these trends for social democrats in Europe during the recession and recovery.

Read the seminar report here.

On the move? Labour migration in times of recession

In a new paper which analyses the latest migration trends in the UK, authors Salt, Latham & Dobson from UCL, argue that evidence from past recessions casts doubt on the widely held assumption that migrants return home when unemployment rises thereby freeing up jobs for the non-migrant population.

Also prepared for the conference, two separate comment pieces by Rainer Munz and Elena Jurado highlight the need for policymakers to take into account the implications of changing migration flows for the process of economic recovery in view of Europe's ageing population and declining workforce.

If you have any questions about this event or research programme, please contact Isra Jawad at ijawad@policy-network.net, or alternatively call 020 7 340 2202.

This research programme is kindly supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust



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