As they sought to implement the goals of the Lisbon Process, EU Member States acknowledged the crucial importance of workforce quality and productivity in the drive to promote economic growth and employment in Europe. However, from the outset, the existence of migrant workers as a key driver of economic development has posed as many challenges as solutions for Governments across the continent, not least in terms of health, well-being, security and social integration.
Recent migration data reveals that citizens of the EU27 have become increasingly mobile. After rapid growth in 2003, the rise in immigration has slowed in the last few years to 3.5 million people migrating within the EU27. However, the latest Commission communication on improving quality and productivity in the workplace identifies the large flow of migrants towards Europe as an increasingly complex phenomenon that must be addressed as part of a coherent EU-wide migration and integration policy framework. Furthermore, the recent instability in Neighbouring Maghreb and Mashriq States is set to stimulate intercontinental migration even more.
Migrant workers typically gain employment through temporary work agencies, often securing monotonous, physically demanding jobs with irregular working hours. The Framework Directive offers such job-seekers little protection from exploitation, and studies have highlighted disquiet in immigrant communities due to this paucity of support. Research into market segregation largely presents migrants as holding jobs categorised by the ‘3Ds’: dirty, dangerous and demanding.
Continuing our migration platform for the discussion and exchange of good practices, this special international symposium focusing on at-risk groups (such as young, female workers), will seek to highlight the working conditions, safety and well-being of migrant workers in the EU. The symposium will consider these issues in the context of growing labour demands across all relevant sectors, in order to construct more effective initiatives for the integration and inclusion of the European migrant working population.
Public Policy Exchange, in partnership with the Centre for Parliamentary Studies, welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.