Europe needs pragmatic, sustainable immigration policies; those who live here must actively contribute to society and respect the values of Europe incl. reason, liberty, and justice.
Europe stands proud as the most hospitable region for migrants, having received over 6 million migrants from 2015-20, surpassing even North America. Yet, Despite our welcoming nature, the Mediterranean has unfortunately become the world’s deadliest region for migrants, with over 16,000 lives lost in just half a decade.
Europe’s unique situation with the Schengen area allows freedom of movement across member countries. However, the absence of a unified border control policy means a lot of chaos, complications, and loopholes. Frontex serves more as a reinforcement rather than a primary control mechanism.
For criminal organizations, human trafficking and smuggling are lucrative businesses, with migrants often paying up to 3000 EUR for perilous journeys. Once in Europe, unscrupulous businesses exploit migrants as cheap labor, paying them up to 42% less than their counterparts, undermining EU citizens’ wage standards.
These tragedies are used with manipulative purposes. Extremist parties from both the far-right, like Germany’s AfD, and far-left, like Czech’s KSCM, fuel their campaigns with anti-immigration sentiments. This is also used as iInternational leverage: authoritarian countries use migration as a tool for various purposes – from extracting billions in aid, as seen with Tunisia, to employing it as a weapon of diplomacy and leverage, as observed with Belarus, Turkey, and Morocco.
Integration: The Missed Mark
Despite the best intentions, migrants often remain on the periphery of European society, leading to issues ranging from riots to discrimination. As a whole or as individual countries, the EU lacks a coherent strategy for migrant labor. This inconsistency, often tied to shifting political landscapes in member countries, creates an unstable environment. The infusion of, almost always, underpaid migrant labor strains the European job market, fostering unnecessary competition and reducing wages for EU citizens.
The Role of Migrants
Certain sectors, like ship crewing in cargo and fishing or eldercare, rely heavily on migrants’ unique skills and experience. While Forward Europe is staunchly committed to revitalizing the continent’s demography, migration remains a crucial component of this effort, helping offset the effects of an aging population but it is complementary to our Demography Policy.
Integration Framework: Our Immigration Blueprint
Toward a United European Border Control
Establishing a Centralized Strategy
Envision the centralized EU Border Control Agency responsible for overseeing all EU entry points. This agency will have representatives from every EU nation, ensuring diverse representation, extended know-how, and widespread geographical mobility. Frontex will be integrated into this new, larger agency to consolidate resources and expertise.
Streamlining Migration Policies
Implement consistent policies across the board on various aspects of migration – from types and durations of migration, family reunification, expulsion procedures,and pathways to citizenship. By having one set of standards applicable everywhere within the EU, our border control forces can operate with heightened efficiency, avoiding mistakes and loopholes.
Forming & Equipping Our Forces
Proper allocation of funds and the use of the latest technology will ensure our border controls are effective and responsive to the changing landscape of migration. Our border personnel will be provided with ongoing training, ensuring they’re well-prepared to handle varied situations with efficiency and humanity. Every border control activity will uphold the highest standards of transparency, making certain that our dual mandate to prevent illegal entry and preserve human life is always met.
Zero Tolerance: The EU Against Human Trafficking & Smuggling
Strengthening Legal Frameworks
We envision a comprehensive reform that holds human traffickers and smugglers accountable, irrespective of their location or identity. Our commitment extends to prosecuting individuals and organizations at an international level, ensuring no one is beyond the reach of justice. To ensure a holistic approach, we aim to encourage immigrants to collaborate in the fight against trafficking, fostering a community-driven approach
In cases where countries turn a blind eye to human trafficking and smuggling, we propose labeling them as “sponsors” of these heinous acts. This not only ensures accountability but also prompts nations to actively combat such crimes. Countries keen on fighting human trafficking within their borders will have pathways to request assistance, ensuring global solidarity against this menace.
Dissuading Illegal Immigration
Any attempts to enter the EU illegally will have repercussions on any future attempts to enter or reside legally, establishing a firm yet fair stance. While we aim to curtail illegal entry, our doors remain open for legal and organized entry into the EU. Our focus will be on ensuring clear and accessible routes for those wishing to migrate legally.
We will be also work locally, at the migrants origin, by actively promoting the harsh realities and potential perils of illegal migration, we can help potential migrants make informed decisions.
The EU Pathway for Legal Immigration
Holistic Immigrant Integration
The pathway doesn’t just welcome migrants, it stays with them. By tracking both social and workforce integration, we ensure no migrant is left unsupported. Starting right from their home country and continuing throughout their stay in the EU, we commit to providing all necessary support for a succesful integration in their welcoming country. The pathway also serves as a protective shield against potential abuses, ensuring every immigrant enjoys their rightful dignity and safety.
The Migrant Integration Centres beyond the EU borders
These centres serve as the first touchpoint for migrants aiming to enter the EU legally. Through comprehensive education programs, migrants will receive grounding in the language, culture, and civics of their destined EU country.
Recognizing the unique skills and aspirations of each migrant, these centres will offer vocational training in fields where their contributions are most needed, paving the way for their successful workforce integration.
These centres will conduct assessments to determine the readiness of migrants for entry into the EU, ensuring they are equipped to thrive.
Comprehensive Care at Integration Centres
Compared to the treacherous routes of illegal migration, which are often perilous and costly, these centres present a far safer and more dignified passage to life in the EU, encouraging migrants to pick this option.
Beyond education, these centres are committed to the holistic well-being of migrant candidates – offering daily necessities like food and medical care, providing opportunities for them to contribute through labor.
Migrants can choose to either reside within the centre or simply attend for educational purposes.
Point System for Immigrants
Tracking from Intent to Entry
Our system initiates the moment a potential migrant expresses interest in joining the EU community, whether it’s by reaching out to Migrant Integration Centres abroad or attempting to enter illegally the EU. We aim to integrate immigrants in the EU within this system too as applicable.
Rewarding Positive Actions
Immigrants can earn points through active participation in education programs, showcasing adaptability, or providing valuable information about human trafficking or smuggling The system is designed to be holistic and encourages migrants to seek additional educational, volunteering, and other opportunities to earn extra points, bolstering their integration process.
A consistent 5-year record of outstanding conduct can move a migrant to a more lenient yearly review system. However, engaging in criminal activities at any stage can reintroduce them into the more rigorous point-based monitoring.
Accountability for Negative Actions
While the system promotes and rewards positive actions, it also holds migrants accountable for any missteps. Engaging in illegal activities or refusing to partake in mandatory education programs will result in a deduction of points. However, asserting one’s legal rights will never be a cause for penalty.
If a migrant’s points drop to zero, it could lead to the revocation of their work permit and deportation. This ensures that every migrant remains conscious of their obligations and responsibilities. The system will ensure a swift appeal processes with adequate legal support for migrants.
Structured Workforce Allocation
Upon acceptance, every migrant joins a dynamic pool of workers. Within this framework, they are paired with suitable job opportunities across the European Union. Migrants are empowered with the choice to either accept a job match or await a more suitable opportunity that aligns with their skills and preferences.
While we seek to aid migrants, we also ensure that EU workers remain informed about all job openings. It’s our commitment that they will always be prioritized when it comes to employment opportunities. Those migrants and refugees already residing within the EU boundaries will be given precedence in the workforce pool over those yet to arrive. This ensures a fair distribution of opportunities within the EU.
Recognizing the ever-evolving needs of the EU’s workforce, exceptions will be made in certain scenarios. Migrants with exceptional skills, those in strategic professions, or areas with acute workforce shortages might be prioritized even above the established hierarchy – with exception vs. EU workers.
Job Matching from Country of Origin
No migrant will make the journey to the EU without first joining, succesfully graduating from an Integration Centre, and matching to a job. This ensures they are well-prepared, both culturally and vocationally, before they step foot in their new home.
Valued Workforce over Cost-Cutting
Equal Pay, Equal Value
Migrants will be guaranteed fair wages in line with their EU counterparts. They will not be undervalued or underpaid for equivalent positions. Beyond just fair pay, we commit to ensuring every immigrant earns a minimum living wage, allowing them a decent quality of life within the EU. Our policy is designed such that the immigrant workforce does not lead to a dilution of work conditions or rights of EU workers.
To further emphasize that the decision to hire a migrant should be based on skills and not cost-saving, employers will be required to pay an additional fee when hiring a migrant worker. This fee will be mandatory for all private-sector employers. Local governmental and community organizations will have options and waivers available, ensuring their specific needs are met without burdening them with undue costs.
Decentralized Migration: The Aguaviva Model
Municipalities hold the primary power to request migrant workers. They have an initial entitlement, allowing them to request a basic number of migrants annually without additional approvals. Municipalities can cater their migration requests based on specific requirements, be it from their own assessment or in response to their own needs. Moreover, they play a crucial role in coordinating and informing migrants about their rights and opportunities.
Regional Oversight and Coordination
Should a municipality require more migrants than annually entitled, regional endorsement will be required. Regional entities will also facilitate coordination for scenarios where cross-municipality needs arise, further promoting harmony and resource sharing. Additionally, they will actively collaborate with businesses that require a substantial number of migrant workers, ensuring mutual benefit.
The EU’s Role in the Immigration Ecosystem
While local and regional entities play their part, the EU ensures every migrant remains an integral part of the overarching Migration and Integration system. Based on inputs from local, regional, and EU levels, the EU confirms strategic fields and areas of focus in terms of migration. The EU also ensures the integrity and effectiveness of the entire Migration and Integration system, emphasizing its commitment to a holistic, efficient, and humane approach to migration.
A Unified Approach to Refugees
We aim for consistent refugee policies across all EU member states, ensuring a united approach. Our policy is strict accordance with international laws, reflecting our commitment to global agreements. Refugees will be distributed across the EU based after matching jobs and needs defined at local level. Every refugee will be member of the Migration and Integration framework before being allocated to a job. We envision a future where refugees contribute to society right from their arrival, eliminating prolonged periods of waiting and uncertainty.
A New Vision for Detention Centres
We seek to replace traditional detention centres with Integration Centres within the EU, focusing on a constructive and humane approach. These centres will cater to both refugees and illegal immigrants, offering a supportive environment for integration and understanding.
We recognize the complexities that drive illegal migration. Therefore, illegal entrants will be given a clear choice: illegal immigrants can either opt for the Integration Pathway or be deported to their country of origin. Attempting illegal entry or failing to cooperate in identification processes will lead to negative points in their record, reinforcing the importance of legal and collaborative pathways as a first choice.
Migration and Integration
For every migrant contracted in applicable scenarios, fees are collected. These fees not only ensure that migrants are not exploited but also fund integration initiatives.
Significant funds are currently being directed towards third countries, such as Turkey, Morocco, and Tunisia (with mixed results). It’s noteworthy that these countries receive billions of euros. To enhance the effectiveness of our approach, we propose reallocating a portion of these funds to bolster the Integration Program instead.
As a major step towards centralizing and streamlining border control efforts, Frontex will be fully incorporated into this revamped system, including its budget.
Instead of relying on local funding, border control activities will now be funded from the EU budget. This not only ensures uniformity and coordinated efforts across the EU but also results in significant savings. By leveraging centralized funding and optimizing resource allocation, we anticipate that this strategic approach to financing will yield substantial savings for EU taxpayers.
Through prudent financial planning and strategic fund allocation, we aim to support an efficient, humane, and sustainable migration system that benefits both migrants and the EU populace.