The amount of people moving within, from and to Europe is ever increasing and mobility is projected to grow even further (OECD 2013). A key challenge for Europe therefore, is the successful management of the mobility of persons and the incorporation of migrants (Recchi and Favell 2009).
To ensure a competitive Europe that fosters innovation and growth, Europe needs a market that makes optimal use of its human capital. The GEMM project addresses this issue by examining the challenges and barriers that European countries face in managing the mobility of persons to realize competitiveness and growth.
For markets to function optimally, we have identified two migration-related drivers of growth:
- The efficient use of existing human capital
- Managing mobility of human capital both from within and from outside Europe
A key barrier for these drivers to contribute to growth is ethnic inequality. Inequality can be a result of the skill composition and resources of the migrant population, but also of markets not functioning optimally, for example due to ethnic discrimination, or institutional arrangements that affect the flexibility of the labour market. Consequently, inequality can result in economic decline, the inability to face the demographic challenge in Europe, a scarcity of skilled labour, or an innovation deficit.
The contribution of the GEMM project is to deliver an in-depth assessment of the two drivers of growth and their relation to ethnic inequality in the European labour market. We achieve this through a unified WP research agenda that focuses on different types of migrants defined by the qualifications they possess. Depth is added by considering different determinants of inequality at three levels: individual; contextual; and institutional. Many analyses of labour market disadvantage remain uni-dimensional and often conflate determinants (Phillips 2011); in contrast however, GEMM strives for scientific rigour and balance that better reflect the multi-faceted migration phenomenon.