A European mobility assistance scheme
Tito Boeri, Herbert Brücker 22 April 2014
Migration from new member states to richer countries within the EU has raised concerns that immigrants tend to abuse the welfare state. This column argues that this is not the case, and suggests the construction of a mobility assistance scheme. This scheme should be financed by the EU itself, and it would allow immigrants to receive welfare benefits in the country they have paid taxes. Such a program would not hamper mobility or distort the incentives of immigrants. It would also have important political side effects.
Policymakers are petrified by increasing sentiments against migration across Europe. The Swiss population has voted against the free movement of workers; the Cameron government in the UK has requested a renegotiation of the EU’s treaties asking explicitly for restrictions on labour mobility within the Union – a pillar of the Common Market since the Rome Treaty. In Germany, a debate on so-called ‘poverty immigration’ from Bulgaria and Romania has fanned fears that immigrants abuse the welfare state.
EU policies Labour markets Migration
mobility assistance scheme, EU migration