Migrants in EU countries are key for development

Based on research and first-hand experience in 11 EU countries, the Caritas network has published its Common Home series. These national publications explore the current reality of migration and its effects on the development of both migrants’ receiving communities and their places of origin.

The national reports show the links between migration and the economy, culture and politics in 11 EU Member States. They also highlight barriers and opportunities for migrants to contribute to development. In addition, the Common Home series provides recommendations for policy-makers, while maintaining a long-term global perspective.

The aim of the Common Home series is to promote a more balanced and evidence-based debate on migration and development that could ultimately be translated into policies that acknowledge and enhance the vital contributions migrants make to both receiving communities and countries of origin.

These publications highlight the importance of recognising the different national realities and the migration histories in each context. Here are some examples of such differences taken from the national reports:

  • In Bulgaria, the number of emigrants is 8.6 times higher that the number of immigrants.
  • The number of foreign residents in Italy matches the number of Italians living abroad.
  • In Austria, migrants contribute considerably more to the social system than what they receive in terms of social cash benefits.
  • Migrants in Germany are likewise net contributors to the country’s social security and welfare system and migration labour is filling an important gap, compensating for an aging local population.
  • Migrants living in the Netherlands have sent remittances to their countries of origin worth three times the Official Development Aid.
  • Many migrants assume an important political role in their countries of origin, evident, for example, by migrants in Portugal, particularly those from Cape Verde and Brazil.

A further comparative analysis is foreseen in the European Common Home publication, which is to be launched in November. It will provide a regional overview and integrate the findings and recommendations from the national publications.

Meanwhile, Caritas calls for the incoming EU institutions and Member States to take into account the recommendations from the Common Home series, which are backed by the experiences of Caritas employees working with migrants and refugees worldwide, and to implement the necessary policies to enable more welcoming societies that champion global solidarity.

The Common Home report of Caritas Bulgaria can be read here: on Bulgarian and on English.

The Common Home reports of the other Caritas organizations can be read on English here.

The Common Home series was produced in the framework of the MIND project, which has received financial support from the DEAR Programme of the European Union. The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Union.