European Commission forecasts economic gains from asylum seekers


Publication date

Nov 11, 2015

Thematic area

European Union Member States
JMDI Focus area:
Migration and Integration
Migration and Local Economic Development


In its latest forecast, the European Commission has predicted that the asylum seekers influx could have a positive economic impact on the EU recovery.


The European Commission, in its Autumn 2015 Forecast entitled ‘Moderate recovery despite challenges’ published on Thursday 5 November, has predicted that the expected three million migrants over the next few years would have an overall positive economic impact on the European Union growth.

It specifies that, although additional public expenditure is to be expected in the short run, an additional positive effect on growth is foreseen in the medium term which will translate into an increase in labour supply provided that the right policies are implemented.

The JMDI welcomes this recognition of the development potential that migration can bring to the European Union which comes just before EU members states, country members of both the Rabat and Khartoum processes, observers to the Rabat process, international organizations representatives (among which the African Union commission, the Economic Community of West African States, the UN and the IOM) are to gather together for the Valetta Summit on Migration taking place today, Wednesday 11 November and tomorrow, 12 November. The conference will build on existing cooperation processes between the EU and Africa and more particularly within the frameworks of the Rabat and Khartoum processes as well as the EU-Africa Dialogue on Migration and Mobility in order to reach common solutions to such challenges.

Discussions will namely focus on five specific areas:

  1. addressing the root causes by working to help create peace, stability and economic development
  2. improving work on promoting and organising legal migration channels
  3. enhancing the protection of migrants and asylum seekers, particularly vulnerable groups
  4. tackling more effectively the exploitation and trafficking of migrants
  5. working more closely to improve cooperation on return and readmission

The positive contribution that migration brings to development has also been globally recognised in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which underlines how migrants contribute to development, and how better governance of migration can reduce global inequalities, and specific migration related targets have also been included.

Challenges still remain however, particularly in ensuring international and national recognition for the role of local authorities and other local actors in harnessing the development potential of migration for local and inclusive growth. The JMDI is namely supporting this through the organisation of the annual Mayoral Forum on Mobility, Migration and Development, a city-led global initiative taking place this year in the city of Quito, Ecuador, on 11-12 November, which will put emphasis on the role of local government in implementing the migration-related targets in the context of the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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