Challenges and Prospects
Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Chapter 18: Jobless growth in South-East Europe, migration and the role of the EU
18. Jobless growth in South-East Europe, migration and the role of the EU Tito Boeri 1. INTRODUCTION On 1 May 2004, ten new countries formally joined the European Union (EU). The new members are small economically – they have signiﬁcantly lower income per capita levels than the EU-15 – but large demographically. By 2007 the second phase of the Eastern enlargement, involving two key countries of South-East Europe, namely Bulgaria and Romania, should take place. By then, the number of EU citizens will have grown by more than 100 million. The Eastern part of Europe is growing fast but, especially in its Southern components, failing to generate jobs. In some of the high-unemployment areas of the EU-15, such as Andalusia or the Italian Mezzogiorno, an opposite phenomenon is observed: low growth but decreasing unemployment. These developments add to income inequalities between old and new members of the EU another potential source of East–West migration, namely unemployment diﬀerences. Concerned about this migration potential and under the pressure of public opinion, governments in the EU-15 are de facto closing their doors to workers from the new member states (NMS). This is a by-product of a lack of coordination at the EU level. As there is no agreement at the EU level on a common set of rules to be applied to the new citizens during the seven-year transition period, each of the old members has decided to establish its own rules. In general, these rules substantially tighten migration or introduce other...
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