Martin Kahanec delivered a speech about migration policy at the European Parliament
Published on Nov. 20, 2012
On November 14, 2012, Martin Kahanec spoke at the conference „Mobility – how to make it work? : Towards a new European paradigm on migration“ organized by the Greens/European Free Alliance at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Drawing on his recent research projects, Kahanec reviewed what we know about „Migrants and their contribution to social protection systems“. In particular, in his talk he challenged widespread beliefs that migrants abuse the welfare state, „shop“ for welfare, and are net beneficiaries from the social security system.
He argued that, rather, a paradigm shift is needed in the policy discourse regarding inclusion of migrants into welfare; namely a shift from the myth of „abuse of welfare“ to the veracity of „lack of access“ to welfare services. At the same time, he documented that there is little, if any, evidence for the hypothesis that migrants choose welfare-generous countries, or that they are disproportionally costly in terms of public finance.
He concluded that the crisis-stricken and aging European Union needs welfare reforms to accommodate the needs of the mobile labor force; immigration policy reform to facilitate the inflows of workers demanded in the labor market; mobility policy reform to provide for circular migration/brain circulation; integration policy facilitating social and labor market integration, including access to the labor market, housing, welfare, health, education; and transparent rules concerning ascention to citizenship. More information about the event