European Commissioner Warns of Looming Labor Shortage, Calls for Increased Migration

World » EU | April 26, 2024, Friday // 12:17
Bulgaria: European Commissioner Warns of Looming Labor Shortage, Calls for Increased Migration

European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Ylva Johansson, has highlighted the pressing need for increased labor migration in the European Union (EU). Speaking at a meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, Johansson underscored that the current influx of 1.5 million labor migrants annually falls short in addressing the EU's overarching labor shortage.

Johansson emphasized that despite the considerable number of labor migrants entering the EU each year, the continent still faces a significant deficit in its workforce due to a steady decline in the number of citizens of working age. With an annual decrease of 1 million working-age individuals across the EU, Johansson stressed the indispensable role of labor migration in replenishing the workforce. However, she expressed concern over EU member states reducing their quotas for accepting migrant workers, exacerbating the labor shortage crisis.

Citing data revealing the struggle of 75 percent of smaller companies in the EU to find suitable labor, Johansson highlighted the tangible impact of the labor shortage on businesses across the continent. This shortage not only impedes economic growth but also hampers the operational efficiency of businesses, posing a significant challenge to the EU's economic stability.

Furthermore, Johansson elucidated on the evolving attitudes of Europeans towards migration, noting a shift in priorities over the years. While migration was once a primary concern for Europeans, recent surveys indicate a change in sentiment, with migration now ranking lower on their list of concerns. Johansson interpreted this shift as a growing readiness among Europeans to welcome individuals seeking international protection and those willing to contribute to the labor market.

As the labor shortage looms larger, Johansson's remarks serve as a clarion call for proactive measures to address the issue. Urging EU member states to reconsider their stance on labor migration and adapt their policies to accommodate the growing workforce needs, Johansson advocates for a collaborative approach to ensure the EU's economic resilience in the face of demographic challenges.

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Tags: European Union, labor, shortage, dynamics

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