EU Aims to Court Legal Immigrants

Population declining, Europe needs bigger share of skilled workers
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 7:10 PM CDT
A rescue worker help to ashore to one of the 100 would-be immigrants, intercepted at sea while traveling in a wooden fishing boat, he arrive in the Port of Los Cristianos, on Spain's Canary Island of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A European Union executive is proposing both a "new vision" and new policies for immigration in Europe, the BBC reports. With Europe already suffering from shortages in many job sectors, Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini said the EU should view immigration as "enrichment," and not a threat. While the US gets 55% of all skilled immigrants, Europe gets 5%, he said.

Frattini predicted a decline in EU working-age population, with a third of residents over 65 by 2050. He also outlined a plan for US-style "blue cards," allowing migrants to stay and work for up to two years, and called for tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants. Both proposals are expected to encounter resistance from individual state governments.