Commissioner Ylva Johannsson: "The EU faces an annual decline of 1 million people in terms of the workforce"

Ylva Johannsson

In order to combat the current decline in the labour force, the European Union should annually receive one million workers from other countries of the world, Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, said recently in Athens.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens on Wednesday to discuss progress in managing migration, the need for legal pathways and integration, and the ongoing crisis in the Middle East.

The meeting was part of a larger event at the Migration Ministry on "European solutions in the joint challenge of migration," which also featured remarks from Premier Mitsotakis, Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis, and European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas.

New Migration Pact and EU Funding

Schinas highlighted the recently agreed-upon New Pact on Migration and Asylum, calling it a "holistic and balanced agreement" worth €2 billion to benefit Greece significantly. He also announced an additional €1.6 billion in funding for migration programs across EU member states.

Johansson and Kairidis on Progress and Challenges

During a discussion with Kairidis, Johansson acknowledged Greece's significant progress in managing migration, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in addressing the issue. She noted that while 3.5 million migrants arrive in the EU legally each year, an additional 300,000 arrive irregularly, underscoring the need for improved systems and a global alliance against human traffickers.

Kairidis echoed Johansson's concerns about human trafficking, highlighting the role of organized networks in facilitating irregular arrivals. He called for increased collaboration among EU member states to dismantle these networks and protect the asylum system from abuse. He also acknowledged the need to streamline legal migration processes in Greece, pointing to the lengthy wait times for residence permit renewals.

Collaboration and the Way Forward

Johansson concluded by emphasizing the importance of continued dialogue and collaboration on challenges such as irregular arrivals, migrant returns, and investments in legal and labour migration pathways. She expressed confidence in Europe's ability to manage the migration issue effectively, praising Greece's role as a frontline example of successful migration management.

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