As we move, carefully, towards conclusion of the negotiations of the EU asylum and migration pact, the much needed legislative foundation of future migration policy, the European Commission continues to address the twin operational challenges of the migration equation; facilitating legal migration to the job markets sectors which have clear skill gaps and labour shortages, while limiting the irregular arrivals to the EU, particularly life-threatening attempts to cross the sea.
The agreement on the Pact, and the improved European coordination which will follow, is the pragmatic approach which, will prove its value in the long run. The four year legislative journey has been an arduous one, but as the destination comes into view, so too does the value of the prize. And let me note, that pragmatism and commitment in the Spanish and the preceding Presidencies of the EU, and in the European Parliament leadership, has been fully appreciated.
Meanwhile, there are still the daily challenges and pressures that Member States face. How to keep their key economic sectors ticking over, in a time when employment is high (74.6%) and unemployment historically low (5.9%). Across the EU there are long-term vacancies in construction, in healthcare, in ICT / Digital, for the green economy transition, and in engineering and transport. These sectors are the lifeblood of Member State economies, big and small. Businesses cannot allow vacancies to widen into structural problems.
For this reason, on 15 November, we launched the EU Talent Pool as part of a mobility package to attract people with the right skills to the EU. https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/news/commission-proposes-eu-talent-pool-help-address-labour-shortages-across-europe-2023-11-15_en
The platform will be targeted to applicants from third countries and ONLY in sectors where there is a proven shortage in the domestic labour market. But what is important is that it will make things easy for the employers to match with those workers who can meet their needs. The EURES platform https://ec.europa.eu/eures/portal/jv-se/home?lang=en provides the basis for the new Talent pool. I urge you to check out the eures tool to have an idea how user friendly, and transparent, the talent pool will be. Also of merit is that as part of the deals on membership of the pool, employers are obliged to be fully compliant with EU labour standards.
What has been particularly gratifying is that the scheme has been very well received across the European Union. By media, but also by employer organisations and agencies. The reporting reflects an often overlooked element – that it is possible to accurately and calmly present developments in migration policy. We would do well to remember this in a time where the tendency is to over-amplify, especially in the migration debate.
The flip side of the operational challenges is the fight against criminal smuggling networks. This fight, as signalled by the President of the Commission in the State of the European Union speech in November, is one that should concern us all. Not just in the EU but all right-thinking governments across the globe. To tackle this scourge, the preying on the weak and the desperate, to fight this culture of callousness which allows people to drown in poor excuses for boats, we need an alliance.
On 28 November, the Commission is organising an International Conference to launch a Global Alliance with our partner countries to Counter Migrant Smuggling. Each Minister who attends will send a signal that the era of impunity for the criminal smuggling gangs is over.
As part of the conference, I will also present new legislation on countering migrant smuggling to make it fit for purpose for the challenges we have today. First, a Regulation on enhancing police cooperation on prevention, detection and investigation of migrant smuggling and enhancing Europol’s support to combating such crimes. Europol’s European Centre against Migrant Smuggling for example, will support Member States in information exchange, coordination and other operational, forensic support and tools. Second, a Directive defining the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and stay. We need to harmonise the rules in the Member States, criminalising the facilitation of unauthorised entry, transit and stay of non-EU nationals.
So, as you can see, November is an intensive month. We are building safe ways workers can come and contribute to the EU. And we are breaking the model of the smugglers who trick so many into risking their lives. As I have never hesitated to say, migration is normal. Risking your life should not be. Our responsibility is to work together to show that that is a risk simply not worth taking, especially as we continue to build pragmatic and fair alternatives.
- Data de publicação
- 20 de novembro de 2023
- Direção-Geral da Comunicação