The European Commission has unveiled plans to massively increase legal migration from Africa with a relaunched “Blue Card” scheme to make Europe “more attractive” to people from the world’s poorest continent.
The plans were in response to the up to 20,000 Africans a week who embark on boats to make their way to Europe.
The new and reformed Blue Card system aims to redress “failures” of its previous arrangements. “Limitations” that the Commission identified were that it was “insufficient, unattractive and therefore underused”.
Despite the Commission’s press release which repeatedly emphasises that the scheme will attract “highly skilled” migrants who will greatly benefit the European Union’s (EU) economy, they announced that the salary threshold for new arrivals will be reduced, for greater “flexibility”, and that funding will be provided to countries at the EU level.
Recognising that people from non-European backgrounds living in Europe are much more likely to be unemployed or on low wages, the Commission has stressed that “integration measures” and “active participation and social inclusion” will be necessary.
Contradicting the idea that migrants arriving will be “highly skilled” is the proposal that education, employment and vocational training will be provided for them.
The current unemployment rate in the EU across the bloc’s countries is 10 per cent. In contrast, the unemployment rate in Japan, whose population has aged more rapidly than Europe’s but where mass migration is rejected, is 3.3 per cent.
Despite millions of European voters expressing deep dissatisfaction over mass migration, when Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed to the most powerful position in the EU he announced that greatly increasing the number of legal immigrants to the continent would be one of the Commission’s key priorities.
As growing numbers of Africans, attracted by EU patrol boats who ferry them directly to Italy, are migrating to Europe by sea it is thought that deals with five African states seeking to limit illegal migration — Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal — will, along with aid money, include easier routes for their citizens to migrate legally.