Commentary

Expanding Legal Labour Migration Pathways to the EU: Will This Time Be Different?

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Excerpt from the introduction

The European Commission’s recently published “New Pact on Migration and Asylum” calls on EU member states to increase legal labour migration pathways, including for lower-skilled workers. To help achieve this goal, the Pact proposes greater and more effective cooperation with non-EU countries through so-called “Talent Partnerships”.

These proposals are not new. The idea of partnerships with non-EU countries that include expanded labour migration programmes was at the heart of the EU’s “Global Approach to Migration” launched in 2005, and this approach has been further discussed and developed over the past 15 years. These ideas, however, have never led to a significant opening of European labour markets to lower-skilled non-EU workers.