Chapter 6: maximising the development
impact of migration and mobility |
The role of development in the
112. The fourth pillar of the GAMM concerns maximising
the development impact of migration and mobility. It states that
the EU and the international community have made great strides
in this area, but in order to be fully effective, the external
and internal dimensions of relevant EU policy areas, including
foreign policy and development cooperation, need to be more closely
A more integrated approach?
113. Tobias Billström considered that the
EU should carry out more work in facilitating the connection between
migration and development at the EU and international levels,
as well as in relation to other key policy areas, including trade,
development aid, foreign and security policy and human rights.
Charles Clarke made a similar point
and Peter Sutherland told us the implications of migration for
development and foreign policy is "an issue that goes far
beyond the boundaries of state security".
114. We heard criticism that the GAMM did not
sufficiently consider development issues because it was primarily
driven by a "home affairs agenda". Professor Boswell
and Hugo Brady called for more joined up working between different
parts of the Commission, including the Directorates-General for
Development (DG DEVCO), Employment and Social Affairs (DG EMPL),
Home Affairs (DG HOME) and the EEAS, in implementing the GAMM
and identifying future priorities.
Bernd Hemingway from the IOM remarked that the EEAS did not have
a dedicated section dealing with migration matters.
115. Stefano Manservisi disagreed that the GAMM
was primarily directed by home affairs concerns and stressed that
the Commission was keen to end "fragmentation". He stated
that it regularly consulted and worked with other Commission DGs
and the EEAS when formulating GAMM policies "in order to
run it as a collective operation". It had a strategic and
financial framework agreement with the International Organisation
for Migration (IOM) to help implement its work on returns and
also consulted the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC)
when developing migration policy to ensure that it took account
of climate change and development factors.
It also funded the ICMPD to facilitate dialogue with non-EU countries
on GAMM-related issues to ensure that their perspectives were
reflected in GAMM policy. Bernd Hemingway confirmed that the IOM
had been working with the Commission on the GAMM from the outset,
which included being consulted extensively on both the Communication
and its implementation.
He also noted that as the majority of the IOM's members were developing
countries, the development aspects of migration were very much
to the forefront of its discussions.
116. The Minister for Immigration took a contrary
view, arguing that while development cut across many different
areas, he was not in favour of closer integration between the
different Commission DGs regarding development issues, including
any attempt by the EEAS to go "beyond its brief". Open
Europe did not think that linking migration to the EU's foreign
policy aims was a priority.
117. Migration policy cannot and should not
be the sole concern of interior ministries. We support the approach
advocated by a number of our witnesses for a more integrated approach
to be adopted, which should involve other ministries such as Business,
Innovation and Skills, Development and Foreign Affairs.
118. We also consider that the Commission
should adopt a similar approach when seeking to achieve the objectives
of the Global Approach by engaging all the relevant parts of the
Commission, including the Directorate-Generals for Home Affairs,
Development and Employment and Social Affairs, and the European
External Action Service.
119. Christopher Chope characterised the role
of trade in helping to limit immigration from North Africa to
the EU as "buying Tunisian tomatoes" and stressed that
if the EU wanted to address these issues, it needed to reduce
trade barriers with these countries.
Open Europe stated that boosting trade should be one of the EU's
main objectives because of the Commission's real competence in
this area, which could be negotiated at the same time as improved
The Minister for Immigration also considered trade to be an important
factor in this process but did not want to alter the current balance
between the United Kingdom's bilateral development and aid programmes
with third countries and the EU's work in this area.
120. We consider that the EU's development
aims in the migration context could be assisted by taking steps
to reduce trade barriers with non-EU countries.
Brain drain, remittances and
121. The GAMM identifies brain drain,
over-qualification or "brain waste" and the dependence
on foreign labour markets as the downsides of migration, and argues
that they need to be tackled jointly in partnerships between the
EU and non-EU countries. On the flip side, it also talks about
the potential of migrants to contribute to the development of
their country of origin through the transfer of remittances, know-how
and innovations. It calls for the migrant-centred approach to
be articulated and implemented through an enhanced dialogue with
the diaspora, migrant groups and relevant organisations, including
human rights considerations.
122. The Migrants' Rights Network considered
the issue of brain drain to be a largely outmoded concept, now
that educational attainment had increased significantly in Africa,
Asia and South America. It argued that migrants benefit both their
own country, and the country receiving them".
Professor Skeldon referred to the concerns that were raised
about brain drain from Taiwan and South Korea in the 1960s, and
noted that the negative predications did not come to pass. Professor Boswell
considered that the conflict between demand for highly skilled
ICT and health sector labour and concerns about brain drain made
it difficult for the Commission to speak with one voice about
123. We heard that the change in the global economic
balance of power was also re-orientating the brain drain debate.
Bernd Hemingway from the IOM cited recent EU negotiations in India,
where the EU's question of "What can the European Union do
for you?" was met with the following reply by the Indian
Minister: "The question is wrong. Your question should be,
'What can you Indians do for us Europeans?' With this in mind,
the IOM argued that the EU needed to improve its offer to non-EU
countries as a result, because there are elements of labour migration
that it should welcome.
Stefano Manservisi strongly echoed this point, stating that the
Commission was acutely aware of the increasing appeal of universities
in countries such as Brazil and China; and that the EU was now
experiencing much tougher global competition in attracting talent.
We explore the increasingly competitive and global market for
higher education in more detail in Chapter 8.
124. Bernd Hemingway pointed to the Philippines
as a good example of the benefits that outward migration can bring
to the country in terms of remittances. He noted that the Philippines
had made a concerted effort to connect the legal path of labour
migration to national development.
Peter Sutherland told us that, globally, more than $350 billion
in remittances was sent back every year from migrants to their
countries of origin.
While this is a significant amount of money, Professor Skeldon
considered that the benefits of remittances had "been rather
overdone" and that evidence of a negative migration impact
on countries of origin was also difficult to find.
The Government welcomed the attempts to improve the access to
remittances developing opportunities for diaspora groups, referring
to their own efforts to make remittances cheaper and to increase
access to finance.
125. Peter Sutherland told us that the Global
Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) was now turning its
attention to the issue of engaging diasporas in the development
of national economies.
Professor Skeldon highlighted the potential challenges of
working with diaspora groups, with support for certain parts of
a diaspora running the risk of becoming politicised.
At the EU level, the ICPDM referred to its ongoing work on an
EU-funded project with organisations in the Netherlands, Switzerland,
France, and with AFFORD
in the United Kingdom, to establish a European-wide African Diaspora
Platform for Development.
126. We believe there is a general EU interest
in pursuing proactive policies regarding brain drain, remittances
and diasporas. However, in order for the EU to make a positive
contribution to facilitating remittances, mitigating the effects
of brain drain on countries of origin and assisting diasporas
to transfer skills to their countries of origin, its work in this
area needs to supplement dialogue with concrete actions. This
could include support for making remittances more affordable,
schemes to increase access to finance in remote locations and
providing funding for the development of vocational skills.
144 GAMM, pp. 18-20 Back
Q 39 and Q 45 Back
Q 147 Back
Q 9 Back
Q 219, Q 180 Back
Q 372 Back
Q 302, Q 317, QQ 322-323 Back
Q 364 Back
Q 304 Back
Q 106 Back
Q 211 Back
QQ 112-113 Back
Q 252 Back
The large-scale emigration of a group of individuals with technical
skills or knowledge Back
GAMM, p. 6 Back
Migrants' Rights Network Back
Q 221 Back
Q 316, Q 321 Back
Q 378 Back
Q 9 Back
QQ 226-228 Back
UK Government Back
Q 5 Back
QQ 226-228 Back
An organisation in Britain, bringing together Africans from different
countries and backgrounds to involve Africans abroad more directly
in Africa's development. Back
QQ 361. For more information about the European-wide African Diaspora
Platform for Development see: