The EU's Global Approach to Migration and Mobility - European Union Committee Contents


The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, chaired by Lord Hannay of Chiswick, is launching an inquiry into the European Commission's Communication on a Global Approach to Migration and Mobility and its implications for the UK. We invite you to contribute evidence to this inquiry. Written evidence is sought by 31 May 2012.

The Global Approach to Migration and Mobility is the external dimension of the European Union's migration policy. It is based on partnership with third countries and designed to address in a coherent way the management of legal migration, the prevention or reduction of illegal migration and the relationship between migration and development. The European Commission adopted its most recent Communication on the Global Approach in November 2011 (COM (2011)743, document 17254/11). It can be found at the following address:

The Global Approach began as a UK initiative in 2005. Whilst remaining broadly positive about it in principle, the Government are sceptical about some elements of the Global Approach and unable to participate in others having chosen not to opt in to many of the legislative measures underpinning it. The purpose of this inquiry is to assess the likely overall effectiveness of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility, present recommendations on how the external dimension of the European Union's migration policy can function better and evaluate the impact (both domestically and on a European scale) of the UK's decision not to participate in many EU legislative measures on migration. We are particularly interested in the views of non-governmental organisations working in this field.

Particular questions raised to which we invite you to respond are as follows (there is no need for individual submissions to deal with all of the issues)

General questions on the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility

(1)  What is your experience so far of the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility? In your view, has it been an effective initiative for facilitating the European Union's aims on the external dimension of migration policy?

(2)  Which elements of the Global Approach do you believe are most and least effective? What changes should be made? How best can the EU manage to deal with the very strong pressure from third countries in particular on the Southern Member States?

(3)  What are your views on the main thematic recommendations identified by the Commission?

(These are:

(a)  promoting better governance of migration (for example, exchanging good practice between Public Employment Services in Member States and partner countries; full implementation and possible improvement of existing measures such as the Directives on students and researchers and the Visa Code; and setting up Migration 2 and Mobility Resource Centres in partner countries to facilitate pre-departure preparation of migrants);

(b)  preventing and reducing illegal immigration and human trafficking (for example, cooperation on document security, with the possibility of visa facilitation for frequent travellers; exchanges of information between EU Immigration Liaison Officers and partner country counterparts; and more cooperation through FRONTEX;

(c)  supporting the implementation of international protection standards for asylum seekers and refugees in third countries (for example, support from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) for building asylum capacity in non-EU countries; and increased resettlement in the EU through the "Joint EU Resettlement Programme");

(4)  What in your view is the effect of demographic trends in the EU on migration issues?

(5)  How are the different considerations arising from the EU's internal policies and its relationships with third countries to be reconciled?

Specific questions on labour migration and the "brain drain"

(6)  A number of measures have been proposed and/or introduced to anticipate and fill EU labour market shortages from outside the EU and provide information to non-EU nationals looking to work in one of the Member States. These include the EU Immigration Portal, the European Vacancy Monitor and the EU Skills Panorama. What is your view on these European measures and others of a similar nature? Can they accurately and reliably predict EU labour market shortages? Is enough information provided to potential migrants to ensure they can safely take up work in a Member State?

(7)  Is there a case for continuing to facilitate migration into the EU? What impact is this likely to have on the labour markets and economies of the UK and other individual Member States? Is sufficient attention being paid to training and using existing resources in the EU labour market?

(8)  The Employment Guidelines call on Member States to pay due attention to integration of migrants in EU labour markets. In your view, is enough attention being paid to this in the EU and in the UK and is sufficient consideration being given to issues of social cohesion?

(9)  The EU rules on social security coordination remove disadvantages and protect acquired social security rights for EU citizens and legally resident non-EU nationals moving within the EU. Should these rules be extended outside the EU for third country nationals returning to their country of origin? Are enough safeguards in place to ensure that the current social security framework is not open to manipulation when extended outside the EU?

(10)  In your view, to what extent is the "brain drain" from third countries into the EU an issue in the context of migration and mobility into the EU? Are the measures currently being proposed and/or implemented at a European level enough to tackle this issue? What more should be done to prevent this phenomenon?

Specific questions on the UK's role in the Global Approach on Migration and Mobility

(11)  What impact does the fact that the UK has not opted into many external migration measures have both on a national and European level?

(12)  Can the UK continue to constructively and effectively contribute to and cooperate with the EU's external migration policy when it has not opted into many of the legislative measures underpinning the policy (e.g. the Blue Card Directive, the Employer Sanctions Directive, the Returns Directive, the Intra-Corporate Transfers Directive and the Seasonal Workers Directive).

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