The 2012/09/07 at 07:55
Marie Luginsland, in Germany
While all over Europe, migratory flows are declining, Germany has seen its number of new arrivals climb significantly in the last two years. Today, it is no longer merely workers from Eastern European border countries who are responding to German industry tenders, but also populations from Mediterranean countries. In 2010, 12,300 Greeks immigrated to Germany, but one year later, the figure leapt to 23,800. The same trend applies to the Spanish, who between 2010 and 2011, doubled their numbers headed for Germany, reaching 20,700. This tendency is a response to two realities: the euro crisis in these countries where youth unemployment has reached record levels, and the growing need of German businesses for qualified labour. Overall, according to an OECD report published in June 2012*, 222,000 persons – in other words 10 % more than one year previously – crossed German borders in 2010 to settle permanently. The improvement of reception conditions, the simplification of administrative obstacles, and of course employment prospects, are the main reasons behind this phenomenon. 66.5 % of the new arrivals have managed to find permanent work, in other words 4 % more than four years ago. What is clear is that since the failures of the Federal Republic, in the 1990s and the early 2000s, to attract qualified populations from Asia, Germany's image has changed. It is true that it is in the country's interests to draw immigrants. Without these new arrivals, its working population would drop from today's 44 million to 38 million in 2025! But this immigration alone will not suffice to make up for the leaks in the German job market, that has lost 750,000 workers in the last five years.
Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD has not failed to remind that "by 2015, immigration at the current level will not be sufficient to maintain the working-age population". The reason is that today's young migrants mainly occupy newly created jobs, and not jobs left vacant by retiring Germans. German businesses therefore have their backs against a wall. While the Germans have another issue on their hands – the integration of the 15 million foreigners living on their soil for many years –, they primarily prefer to continue searching for workers on the European job market. The VW initiative is just one example. The group, whose number of brands has gone up to seven in the space of a few months, is multiplying seduction operations targeting southern Europeans. A two-year-long programme, named "Start-up Europe" aims at integrating young Spanish and Portuguese graduates in the group.
*International Migration Outlook 2012