Seminarreihe des Arbeitsbereichs Ökonomie am IOS
Zeit: Dienstag, 13.30–15.00 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS); vorerst online via Zoom, Link wird mit den Einladungen verschickt!
Forschungslabor: „Geschichte und Sozialanthropologie Südost‐ und Osteuropas“
Zeit: Donnerstag, 14–16 Uhr (Lehrstuhl) oder 16–18 Uhr (Graduiertenschule und Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus)
Ort: WiOS, Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 017)
2.2 East West migration patterns after the 2004 enlargement of the EU
Ekaterina Sprenger, OEI
While keeping relatively tight restrictions on labour migration in general, Germany allowed several exceptions which had already been in force before enlargements. Seasonal workers from the new Member States and Croatia in agriculture, forestry, hotel and catering industry, fruit and vegetable processing and in sawmills were granted work permits allowing a stay for up to four months per year. This regulation has been amended due to the decreasing number of seasonal workers. From 1 January 2009 the maximum length of stay increased to six months per year (Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection). Other schemes for temporary entry of project-tied workers as well as guest workers in the health sector allowed granting the citizens of the new Member States a limited number of work permits (European Integration Consortium - Report).
Despite Germany's strict immigration regime vis-à-vis the new Member States, a substantial inflow of immigrants from the EU-8 into the country has been shown in several studies (WISO-Diskurs, European Integration Consortium - Report). Timo Baas and Herbert Brücker find that some 32000 immigrants from the EU-8 come to Germany each year on average since the 2004 enlargement round while the UK and Ireland yearly attract about 120000 and 30000 EU-8 immigrants from these countries respectively (WISO-Diskurs). These figures show that in spite of virtually steady increase in the number of immigrants from the EU-8, Germany has lost its position as a migration destination for workers from eight Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.
The composition of the migrant population has remained very similar to the pre-enlargement situation with vast majority of German immigration from Central and Eastern Europe coming from Poland. There is, however, a change in the age structure of Germany's immigrant population. Even though the post-enlargement labour immigrants from the EU-8 are on average still younger than average employees in Germany, they tend to be older than the pre-enlargement immigrants from the same countries (WISO-Diskurs, EU Labor Markets After Post-Enlargement Migration). Karl Brenke, Mutlu Yuksel and Klaus F. Zimmermann find that these immigrants have lower levels of education when compared to the pre-enlargement migrants from the same countries. Given that the transitional arrangements are only applied to workers but not to self-employed persons, it is no surprise that the post-enlargement immigrants in Germany are more likely to be self-employed and less likely to be employed. Moreover, the new EU-8 immigrants are employed in lower paid jobs and tend to work longer hours than the EU-8 pre-enlargement immigrants. The fear that migrants from the new Member States might steal jobs looks empty. In Germany, the post-enlargement immigrants from the EU-8 can rather be expected to compete with non-EU immigrants for low-skilled jobs than to compete with natives (IZA Standpunkte, EU Labor Markets After Post-Enlargement Migration).
This is a rather disappointing result that raises serious doubts about the rightness of Germany's tough migration policy. Germany is in need of a highly qualified labour force and should introduce more immigration policies attracting highly qualified immigrants, and yet the outcome of the current policy does not support this aim.