EMN Spain organised a high-level EMN Presidency Conference on legal migration on 16 and 17 November 2023.

The two-day event featured high-level and expert meetings focusing on sustainable strategies for legal migration policies and their external dimension, and also aimed to promote sector-specific solutions and the exchange of best practices.

The conference highlighted the increasing demand for labour, which also implies the need to design more ambitious policies. Filling labour shortages would be ensured by faster and easier procedures (especially for the recognition of qualifications), more effective integration and the transfer of EU ideas (EU talent pool, blue card, talent partnerships) to local level. At the same time, it will be important to be aware of the potential for abuse of workers and how to prevent it.

In terms of the external dimension, mention was made of the countries from which labour is sourced (Pakistan, Honduras, Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh) and of the Asian way of checking competences and entry conditions (e.g. Japan and South Korea), which is much more efficient.

With regard to sector-specific solutions, the following were highlighted:

the transport sector – different training is needed, and the process of information and identification of suitable personnel needs to be improved already in the countries of origin,

the construction sector – Italy trains asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in 9 pilot projects, which are carried out jointly with several ministries and an educational organisation in Tunisia,

Home care sector – The vast majority of workers in this sector are women over 50 years of age who will soon retire – there are problems with regularisation of the profession, high levels of undeclared work and recognition of qualifications, as well as with ensuring adequate working conditions.