IOM criticises Britain's non-EU migration quota

6th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The International Organisation for Migration on Tuesday criticised Britain's move to limit the number of migrants from non-EU countries, saying that it went against the country's economic needs.

"Such measures respond to constraints of a political order but are not adapted... to a globalised employment market with companies for whom the quest for professional competences is a priority," said IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy.

The move by Britain to limit the number of migrants went against the needs of European countries, which require these workers' skills, said Chauzy.

"Such criteria are artificial -- the rule of the market is to recruit the most competent person, no matter whether he or she comes from," he stressed.

"We know that recruitment policies are more restrictive in times of recession, but the crisis does not change the fundamentals of migration," he said.

Citing the health sector as an example, Chauzy noted that Europe is ageing and its health sector is facing a growing demand. It is migrants who have been playing an important role in filling jobs in this service industry, he said.

"Britain's health system functions largely thanks to these people who have been trained abroad," Chauzy pointed out.

The British government on June 28 announced interim measures to cut the number of visas issued to skilled non-EU workers, in the lead up to a permanent annual cap on migration from next April.

The measures were part of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives' pledge before the election to cut net migration back to the levels of the 1990s, when it was "tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands".

They target only non-EU migrants as the government has no control over migration within the European Union because of the bloc's open borders policy.

© 2010 AFP

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