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Monday, 17 January 2005

European Commission launches public debate on economic migration


The European Commission adopted today a Green Paper “On an EU approach to managing economic migration”, presented by the Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, Vice-President Franco Frattini in agreement with Commissioner Vladimir Spidla, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. The Green Paper aims at stimulating a public debate on the need to develop a comprehensive EU strategy to manage migration for economic reasons. The Commission has sought to launch an in-depth discussion on this issue ever since the Tampere European Council meeting in October 1999. The Green Paper, transmitted to all EU institutions concerned, notably the Economic and Social Committee, will serve as a basis for transparent discussions involving these institutions, as well as civil society, including in particular the social partners, on the most appropriate form of Community rules for admitting economic migrants, while not impinging on the responsibility of Member States to decide on the numbers of immigrants to be admitted. The Commission will organise a hearing on this issue in July 2005, and incorporate the findings of this comprehensive debate in a policy plan on legal migration, as requested by the Hague Programme, for the end of 2005.