Why is immigration good for Europe?

Immigration to the EU : Europe is becoming attractive to the highly qualified

In the next ten years, more people will immigrate to Europe than in the years before the great flight in 2014/2015. However, the situation five years ago will not repeat itself. This is forecast by a study by the UN migration organization IOM, which looked at the entire literature on the subject and had its results evaluated by 178 migration experts around the world.

The study entitled “Assessing Migration Scenarios For The European Union in 2030. Relevant, Realistic And Reliable?”, Which will be presented on Tuesday at the annual conference of the “European Migration Network” in Vienna and which was available to the Tagesspiegel in advance, says for the Time up to 2030 also anticipates that the number of asylum applications in the European Union is unlikely to rise or could even fall.

The world in 2030: more national egoism, north-south divide remains

However, she sees a drastic increase in the number of well-educated and highly qualified immigrants who will be drawn to Europe. "In the scenario that experts believe is the most likely, the annual number of highly skilled immigrants will be 134 percent higher in Europe in 2030 compared to the annual average between 2009 and 2018," the text reads.

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The study also lists the factors that will encourage this development and have long since been taken into account: a growing demand for care and health services in the aging European population, a shrinking of the working generation due to lower birth rates, the increasing importance of climate and health Environmental protection, the stronger influence of automation and digitization in the national economies and especially for the labor markets.

The study used the so-called Delphi method to evaluate forecasts, which are always based on assumptions that do not necessarily become reality or can change. For this purpose, experts with relevant and as many years of expertise as possible - here they came from research and migration practice - are asked in a multi-stage process for their assessment of existing scenarios, usually anonymously and individually, in order to eliminate group pressure and the dominance of individuals. Predictions on which there is broad consensus are thus confirmed as more likely.

In the IOM study, this consensus existed not only for the composition and size of immigration, but interestingly also for the global political climate in ten years' time. “In the present study,” the IOM authors write, “the experts describe it as the most unlikely scenario for the European Union in 2030 that states will solve their tasks through international and multilateral cooperation and that the regions of the world will become economically viable In short: one pessimistically anticipates an increase in national egoism and not that the economic north-south divide in the world will weaken significantly.

Forecasts cannot be implemented immediately in migration policy

The IOM and the Dutch "Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute" NIDI, who worked together for their study, consider them unique because of the large number of qualified participants - 178 researchers - but they also state their limits, which are obvious The majority of respondents also agree: "Delphi studies must be taken for what they are: a tool to collect opinions and assessments from selected people, not to get statistically representative data."

The research group is also aware of the politically sensitive nature of such overviews. Migration to the north of the world has increased the politicians' need for usable analysis. But research often cannot deliver that, at least not in the short term: "The dissent of the researchers in this Delphi study shows that there is a lack of knowledge about how the fundamental motors of migration could affect future migration movements."

Such uncertainties are a problem for decision-makers who demand clear messages from research in order to translate them into policy. Politicians urge them not to judge expert opinions and scenarios according to their immediate feasibility, “but rather according to their potential to provide debate material for political planning”.

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