The link between migration, demography and labour market has long been discussed.
Reports, studies and conferences have focused on how this link works and how it is
important to take advantage of the synergies existing among the three elements, thus
promoting system-wide coherence. Different tools and programs to identify labour
shortages and the extent of the need for labour migrants have been designed based on
the relations among them.
However, current changes in labour market dynamics, specifically linked to digitalisation
and rapid technological change, and new challenges not only in the economic field but
also demographic and even institutional ones, require new approaches to let policy
makers, both nationals and Europeans, design a migration policy, specifically a labour
migration one, which addresses these different challenges which are the reflection of a
Bearing in mind that most migration flows towards and within the EU take place in a
regular, safe and orderly way, that the number of irregular arrivals into the EU have
decreased to match pre-crisis level and that demography dynamicsshows Europe as one
of the most aged regions, the renewed European Agenda on migration should be
focused, within other elements, on the importance of having and developing an EU legal
In parallel, countries are reviewing and updating their way to determine current labour
shortages and or to forecast future needs as well as other measures such as market
activation of the current resident population (a significant share of migrants entering for
non-work-related reasons end up accessing the EU labour marketi
) and reforming
education and training opportunities. According to the EMN report Determining labour
shortages and the need for labour migration from third countries in the EU, the
importance of each measure differs in Member States. New technologies may play an
important role in the re-designing of these tools or even in taking over new roles (i.e.
public administration not only determining labour shortages but also making easier the
international job matching). Finally, public concerns must be considered and dealing
with feelings and perceptions requires also policy maker’s action.
Besides, opening migration channels to migrants from third countries is a key element
for fighting irregular migration and for enhancing bilateral relations with countries of
origin and it is linked to the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact for migrants.