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Saturday, 6 November 2010

EU acknowledges African immigration has left a shortage of workers in Africa

EU acknowledges immigration has left a shortage of workers in Africa

 NOVEMBER 2010: 
Andrew Brons has now received an answer to his Written Question regarding the effects of immigration concerning the President of the Republic of Mali.

Andrew asked:
On 7 September, Mr Amadou Toumani Toure, President of the Republic of Mali, addressed the European Parliament.
In his speech he referred to the pernicious effect of EU immigration policies on the economy of Mali. In particular, he stated that his country was being denuded of its university graduates, with as many as 35% of graduates emigrating.
The President also referred to the debilitating effect of emigration on his country's health service, given the shortage of nurses and doctors because of emigration.
In my speeches to Parliament – to which the Commission may or may not listen – I have frequently warned of the damage wrought to the developing countries by the EU Commission's policy of enforcing a multicultural society on the EU Member States, without any democratic mandate.
1. Does the Commission agree with Mr Toure in respect of his concerns, which are also my concerns?
2. Does the Commission consider that its immigration and population policies are depriving developing countries of some of their most valuable citizens, which they can ill afford?
There has now been a response from EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström on behalf of the Commission
"In the Stockholm Programme the European Council encourages the creation of flexible admission systems that are responsive to the priorities, needs, numbers and volumes determined by each Member State and enable migrants to take full advantage of their skills and competence. The European Council also underlines the need to take further steps to maximise the positive and minimise the negative effects of migration on development in line with the Global Approach on Migration.
"Following this approach, the existing EU legislation and the legislation in preparation contain a number of safeguards aiming at preventing "brain drain". For example, Directive 2009/50 on the EU "Blue Card" provides that Member States can refuse applications for Blue Cards in order to ensure ethical recruitment. In addition the Directive does not affect agreements with third countries which list professions suffering from lack of personnel and which are therefore subject to ethical recruitment. Third country nationals who have long term resident status in the European Union can leave the EU territory for up to a year without losing that status, and this period is extended to two years for highly qualified migrants with a Blue Card. These provisions encourage "circular" migration between the EU Member States and the migrant's home country, with the accompanying transfer of skills and money.
"Looking at the specific situation in the health sector, the Commission is particularly concerned about the critical shortage of qualified workers in many African countries. It is estimated that a minimum of 2.3 health workers per 1000 population are needed in order to provide basic health care. Africa, on average, has 0.8 health workers per 1000 population and Mali even less, compared to 10.3 per 1000 population in Europe. Aware of this challenge and of the responsibility of the EU's benefit as destination region of migrant health workers, the EU has adopted a Strategy for Action on the Crisis in Human Resources for Health in Developing Countries, followed by a European Programme for Action. The EU supports health programmes with a human resources for health (HRH) component in 51 countries (including Mali). At the global level the EU is beginning to explore opportunities for stimulating circular migration and for introduction of other mechanisms that would make migration of health workers beneficial for development.
"In addition, the Commission, through geographic and thematic financial instruments, finances a number of initiatives aiming at maximising positive effects of migration on development of countries of origin and transit. They aim, among others, at strengthening capacities of developing countries to integrate migration into their national development strategies, to maximise the development impact of remittances, develop a policy to attract diaspora members, favour circular migration and retain skilled migrants.