venerdì, febbraio 09, 2007

Una politica dell'immigrazione attiva?

Questo è un articolo interessante su un'iniziativa per certi versi intelligente dell'Unione Europea, ossia quella di stabilire una sorta di "agenzia interinale" a distanza in Mali per favorire l'immigrazione regolare di lavoratori qualificati. Il rovescio della medaglia? L'Afric rischia di rimanere senza lavori qualificati, mentre migliaia di disoccupati nell'Europa orientale attendono che l'Unione Europea - di cui sono cittadini - permetta loro di circolare liberamente. Leggere per capire.

EU job centres to target Africans
By Alix Kroeger
EU reporter, Brussels

The European Union development commissioner, Louis Michel, is in Malifor talks to set up the EU's first job centre for African migrants.The idea is to match potential migrants with job offers in sectorslike agriculture, building or cleaning.France and Spain have already pledged to advertise seasonal vacancies there.It's part of the EU strategy to deal with the increasing flow ofmigrants from Africa, with other centres planned for Senegal andMauritania.

Deadly journey

Mr Michel is holding talks on the centres with Malian President AmadouToumani Toure Mali the capital, Bamako.Last year, 31,000 Africans made the hazardous sea crossing to theCanary Islands to enter the EU illegally, according to figures fromthe Spanish government. A further 6,000 died trying.The countries on the EU's southern flank - Italy, Malta and Spain -have been pleading for help.The EU is stepping up border patrols, both on land and at sea.But it's also looking at ways of increasing legal migration - both tofill gaps in the European labour market and to reduce the number ofmigrants trying to enter the EU illegally.The International Organisation for Migration, which assists migrantsand governments around the world, says it's a "constructive step inthe right direction.""You can't manage migration flows by simply having tougher bordercontrols," says IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy. "If you're tryingto undercut the people smugglers, the best way is to open up legalopportunities (for migrants)."The working document on the African centres, obtained by the BBC, saysthe job centre project will be co-financed by the EU and memberstates, although it doesn't give any figures.It says the centres, and matching supply and demand in the labourmarket, are an "integral part" of the European Commission's "GlobalApproach on Migration".

Relieving pressure

Initially the Malian job centre will be in Bamako, but later it willestablish regional offices in outlying towns or villages, wheremigrants begin their journey.But the idea goes far filling the gaps in the EU labour market. It'salso aimed at relieving pressure on the EU by creating opportunitiesfor Africans at home.The European Commission wants the centre to include a micro creditfacility - possibly run by the Grameen Bank, which pioneered the ideaof small loans to help people out of poverty by allowing them to setup their own business.The centre will also help the people who get jobs to get the necessarypapers, including visas and residence permits."If migrants leave with proper contracts and visas, this makes themless vulnerable to exploitation," says Mr Chauzy. It also meansthey're likely to earn better wages and have more money to send hometo help their families.But while Mali may welcome the centre, others are less enthusiastic.

Priorities, priorities

"This is very strange, even a bit crazy" says centre-right Polish MEPJacek Protasiewicz, author of a report in the European Parliament onthe discrimination faced by workers from the post-Communist countrieswhich joined the EU in 2004."The first thing the European Commission should do is to diminishbarriers for the free movement of workers from within the EU, and thenopen job centres in other parts of the globe," he says.Even now, people from countries like Poland, Slovakia and Lithuania -as well as Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU this year - can'twork freely in all EU member states."Many millions of Poles, Lithuanians, Romanians (and others) would behappy to have low-skilled jobs in agriculture within the EU," he adds.

Skill shortages

But for Mali, as for many African countries, the brain drain is aserious problem.It isn't just the low-skilled who are leaving: it's the doctors, theengineers and the IT specialists, even if some of them up end upworking in jobs far below their qualifications."Ways of facilitating circular and temporary migration will beexplored," says the working document on the job centres.For example, a surgeon from Mali could work in the EU for a month ortwo a year, earn extra money, perhaps acquire some new skills and putthose to use at home."Someone who's worked for a few years in the EU may have accumulatedsome capital and can identify opportunities in their country of originwhere that capital can be invested and create wealth," says Mr Chauzy.Remittances from migrants represent the biggest flow of money intomany developing countries.If some of that money can be invested to create jobs - rather thanjust helping families survive from one day to the next - it could makesome potential African migrants think again about risking theirsavings and their lives on a dangerous journey to Europe and anuncertain future.

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