2006-2016 Report : Boosting Euro-Mediterranean economic mobility : ideas to take action

Published : Friday 20 May 2016

Several factors explain the need for a greater mobility in the Euromed region: ageing population, decrease in active population and sectoral labour shortage in the North, skilled workforce and high unemployment rates in the South, untapped potential of diasporas through their multiple identities, skills, financial transfers, investments. Coproduction dynamics also require a greater mobility of skills. Another reason regards politics. Talking of deep regional integration is not relevant if people’s mobility in the region, especially economic mobility, is not made easier.

 Shifting from an administrative logic of migrations towards an economic one

 The vision defended by our think tank requires considering migration by separating mobility and access to the labour market from border control and the fight against illegal immigration. One must take into account the needs of partner countries in terms of development instead of only focusing on the European objectives regarding control of migratory flows. While fighting illegal immigration, it is also necessary to implement an attractive Euro-Mediterranean policy of economic mobility so that Northern and Southern countries, and migrants themselves, can benefit from migration.

 An attractive region for a greater implication of the Mediterranean diaspora

 Northern and Southern countries must build the conditions of a renewed trust in order to attract diaspora, especially as a global competition is increasing particularly among high-skilled migrants.

 In the South, countries are changing their opinions on their diasporas. They are no longer exclusively considered as workforce sending money. They represent skills and an expertise, “Ambassadors” who can contribute to the economic development of their countries of origin and their international influence. Some Southern countries are implementing, more or less successfully, different devices in order to strengthen economic, cultural and political bonds with their diasporas. Local banks and States must also promote financial tools enabling to inject migrants’ remittances into the economy, as they are generally hoarded or invested in real estate. 

 As for Northern countries, they should acknowledge and value the economic dynamism of the Mediterranean diaspora living in Europe, which creates employment and added value. Policies encouraging a greater mobility of people and skills, making easier the access to the labour market and securing migrants’ professional journeys would help in this regard.

 Securing migrants’ professional journeys

 The implementation of a Euro-Mediterranean space for economic mobility requires to make migrants’ professional journeys safer so that they can use their skills and be involved in the region’s economic development while having “one foot in the North and one foot in the South”. This could be done, for instance, by ensuring migrants the same rights as national workers, a portability and transferability of certain rights (unemployment benefits, pension, social security, etc.), an easy access to citizenship and dual nationality, access to residence permits spanning several years, the recognition of political rights, etc.

 Informing on migrants’ reality

 One of the objectives of our reflection on mobility is to shed light on the realities of migration in the Mediterranean and to analyse the policies existing in that field. Such is the object of the publications by Hervé Le Bras and Philippe Fargues and of the report on admission policies of economic migrants (Schengen space, Canada, United States) by Macarena Nuño.



Associate experts: Philippe Fargue, Hervé Le Bras, Farida Souiah

 Main publications :

  • Les Notes d’Ipemed, « Migrants et migrations dans le bassin méditerranéen », September 2009
  • Construire la Méditerranée, « Méditerranée : Passer des migrations aux mobilités », April 2011
  • Etudes et analyses, « La mobilité économique en Méditerranée », March 2014

 Key figures

8 publications

5 workshops co-organised with the World Bank

120 diaspora members directly involved

To reach the entire 2006-2016 report please click here

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