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Working Papers

Labour mobility and EU enlargement – a review of current trends and debates

Jan Kunz

Publication date : 2002

Number of pages : 28

Author(s) :

Jan Kunz

The focus of the article is labour mobility within the European Union (EU) and how the current trends may be influenced by the impending accession of the central and eastern European Countries (CEECs). The findings are based on a number of recent studies conducted by various authors. Starting from a brief analysis of the public debate about labour mobility and EU enlargement, the article takes a closer look at the increasing need for migration in the future. The theory of labour mobility and the generally low migration trends within the EU are also discussed in this context. For extrapolations of future migration trends the economic and labour market situation in the accession states as well as the migration flow towards the EU in the past are interesting. According to most studies the – especially inAustria and Germany – widespread fears about a ‘wave of labour migrants’ in the case of EU enlargement are quite unfounded.Nevertheless a general increase in migration is expected. In this context transitional agreements to regulate migration flows are considered a diplomatic solution. They offer CEEC nationals clear prospects and give current EU member states an instrument to restrictimmigration for a certain period of time. This will help to gain public support for the enlargement process on both sides.

Collection: 2002/02
ETUI, ISBN D/2002/3163/03, ISSN 1025-2533

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