Legal-/Labour Migration / Immigration

Policies in the area of legal and labour migration shape the size, structure and dynamics of international migration more than anything else. At the same time the desire to work and to find a job in one of the highly developed countries is the main motivation for individuals to leave their countries of origin and to try to make a living abroad.

In recent years, many countries have come to the conclusion that there is a considerable demand for foreign workforce in their national labour markets. Related policies need to address a number of issues, such as the identification of needed skills and qualifications, the development of functioning policies on temporary or circular labour migration, the right for family life (‘family migration’), the issues of brain drain and brain waste and the integration of immigrants and their relatives into the social, health care and educational systems of their host countries.

The international debate on integration has neither resulted in a commonly accepted definition of the underlying concept nor in commonly accepted means of measurement of the degrees of integration or non-integration of migrant populations. However, all integration policies have one major objective in common. Central to the various concepts is to make sure that immigrants acquire the necessary means to participate in the economic, cultural and social life of the receiving societies, benefit from equal access to rights and opportunities and are subject to the same duties as the domestic population.

Moreover, integration is understood as a mutual and reciprocal process, requiring the involvement of both the migrants and the resident population as a precondition for its success. As a crosscutting issue, integration policies are not only linked to other migration policies but also to a broad number of other policy areas, such as: labour market policies, policies on education, health, housing or anti-discrimination. The Competence Centre for Legal Migration & Integration carries out the following tasks:

  • conducts comparative research on the development and implementation of legal migration, labour migration and integration policies among European States
  • contributes to the further improvement of these policies by pointing out policy options and recommendations with the aim of producing evidence-based, functioning and pragmatic solutions
  • supports third countries to build and further develop national capacities in the areas of legal migration, labour migration and integration
  • facilitates the collection and exchange of data, information and best practices
  • supports ICMPD's migration dialogues in the establishment of cooperation between European countries and their partners to the East and South.


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