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Managing the welfare impacts of migration in times of economic turbulence

  • Date(s)
    1 December 2009
  • Time
    13.00 - 18.15
  • Location

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government John Denham  addressed Policy Network’s seminar “Managing the welfare impacts of migration in times of economic turbulence”, on Tuesday 1 December at the British Academy in London.

Recent opinion polls show large numbers of citizens in European countries are convinced that migrants place disproportionate pressure on public services, a feeling that is likely to deepen in the shadow of the recession when demand for public services increases. This poses significant challenges for central government, but particularly also for local government where services are requested and delivered, and where the implications of upcoming spending cuts will be mostly felt.

The seminar explored the welfare impacts of migration in times of economic turbulence, and discussed how the implications can be managed in a way that is both effective and fair. The first session looked at the role greater decentralisation could play in improving local authorities’ capacity to manage pressures posed by migration, and the potential trade-offs for equality and fairness. The second session assessed the trend, seen in several European states, towards restricting migrants’ access to social assistance and the dilemmas for integration involved in this increasing differentiation of entitlements.

This was the second seminar in a series of expert meetings Policy Network is organising as part of its research initiative on managing migration in European countries during times of economic turbulence, kindly supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. Speakers included Bhikhu Parekh, Tony Travers, Robin Wales, Tito Boeri and Virginie Guiraudon. They were joined by other leading academics, policy experts and senior politicians to discuss the welfare impacts of migration in times of economic turbulence, and the important questions this raises for policy and politics. Please see the agenda for further details on timings and a full list of speakers.

The event also marked the launch of a new paper by Rinus Penninx, professor of ethnic studies at the University of Amsterdam, on the role of decentralisation in helping local authorities manage migration related pressures.

If you are interested in this event, please contact Jade Groves on 020 7340 2216 or jgroves@policy-network.net. 

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