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Facilitating Migration between India and the EU: A Policy Perspective

Author : Pralok Gupta | 2016 |
Published By: CARIM India

Global migration to the European Union (EU) has expanded significantly since the 1990s and is being considered as an important tool to resolve domestic labour shortages in many of its Member States. Migration from India to the EU has so far not been significant except in the case of a few Member States and a few sectors. Nonetheless, there is a growing trend of Indians emigrating to the EU and the governments on both sides have also started looking at facilitating migration between the two regions. The emigration policies of the Indian Government and the policy orientation of the EU governments towards Indian migrants are important not only in deciding the quantum of Indian emigrants going to the EU but also their choice of destination country within the EU. Policy facilitation is also important for preventing exploitation of Indian emigrants both before and after leaving India. Most of the emigration policies in India focus on migration to the Gulf countries and the EU countries have so far not been a focus area. Similarly, the EU’s policy focus has been on intraregional migration or on inflows from a few developed countries outside the EU. The lack of appropriate policy initiatives by the governments on both sides has possibly affected India-EU migration in two ways. First, it may have reduced the extent of the flows from India to the EU in search of better job opportunities. Second, in the absence of information and policy guidelines, Indians in the EU countries, especially low skilled ones, have become more vulnerable to exploitation. A welcome step with respect to skilled workers is the negotiation of bilateral social security agreements between India and several EU Member States which can protect the interests of expatriate workers and companies on a reciprocal basis. However, the interests of the less skilled, remain unaddressed. Therefore, it becomes important that the Government of India makes EU specific policies as it has in the case of Gulf countries and its policies should also take into consideration the welfare and integration of low skilled workers in these countries. The EU should also consider India as a potential source of labour supply to meet skill and labour shortages in its various sectors. Both the sides should come forward to frame policies to facilitate orderly migration and check irregular migration between the two regions.

URL : 20170619010956.pdf

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