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EMN Spanish Presidency Conference on shaping the future of EU legal migration

27 November 2023

The EMN Spanish Presidency Conference entitled Shaping the future of EU legal migration: Where are we and where do we want to go? took place on 16-17 of November 2023 in Madrid, Spain.

The European Union and its Member States are facing complex demographic challenges, including declining population and shrinking labour forces, requiring viable migration strategies that would attract the talent needed from abroad.

The two-day event featured high-level, technical sessions focused on sustainable strategies for legal migration policies and encouraged an exchange of best practices and sector-specific solutions. The conference brought together a diverse group of high-level speakers and experts, including Commissioners, interested MEPs, EU Ministers, European social and economic partners, as well as representatives of the private sector. The broader panels and audience participation extended to policymakers, practitioners and other interested stakeholders.

In the light of the European Year of Skills, the conference focused on discussing the opportunities and challenges EU faces in establishing legal and orderly migration. Following the adoption of the Skills and Talent Package, this key moment allowed to reflect upon the progress made so far while bringing together at high-level to establish long-term vision on legal migration policies.

Following the initial opening by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, the first day of the conference presented a valuable opportunity to reflect upon the role of labour migration in both the current European and global landscapes. The reflective session delved into discussing recent legislative and policy-oriented advancements, highlighting the need for the future-focused efforts to create collaborations towards a shared agenda for labour mobility between public and private sectors. Furthermore, the recent initiatives and progress regarding the complementary pathways linked to employment of people in need of international protection was discussed.

During the second day, speakers included experts from the field of labour migration and enabled in-depth discussions around the challenges and accomplishments of the main initiatives developed under the Skills and Talent Package informed by testimonials from key actors involved. Conversations also offered an overview of the key sectors facing labour shortages at the EU level, including long-term care, transport and construction. Experts delved into identifying the needs within these sectors and proposed measures to contribute to their growth and sustainability.

The video streams from the conference are available at: EMN Spanish Presidency Conference - European Migration Network (emnspain.gob.es)

Photo © EMN Spain

EMN Coordinator for Slovakia

International Organization for Migration (IOM) – Office in the Slovak Republic

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European Comission - Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs 

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