Nordic report on labour immigration

A new report from the Norwegian Research Institute Fafo on labour immigration from the new EU Member States to the Nordic countries concludes that the anticipated deluge of migrant workers has not occured.

15/02/2006 :: The report gives an overview of immigration of the labour force from Central and Eastern European EU Member States to the Nordic countries since the EU enlargement on 1 May 2004. A comprehensive strain on the labour market had been feared. However, the report shows that Central- and Eastern European manpower has alliviated regional recruitment problems and avoided bottle-necks in certain sectors. Furthermore, the increasing immigration of labour from the new EU Member States has not created any imbalances in the Nordic labour markets as had been anticipated.

Overall, the outcome so far has been favourable in economic terms. There have been no reports of increased demands on the benefits and social services sector. The main problems that have arisen, are associated with certain areas and sectors with high demand pressure. In generally, the Nordic labour markets have demonstrated good potential for absorbing workers who have come owing to this increased mobility.

Regarding the mobility of service, most labour migartion to the Nordic countries subsequent to the enlargement has clearly occured in the context of cross-border provisions of services. In the Nordic countries, as in the rest of Europe, it has been difficult to obtain a general view on the development in this area. According to the report, there are no reliable statistics regarding the movement of services.

An increasing amount of work permits has been issued in the Nordic countries following enlargement. The Nordic countries have issued more than 18.000 work permits between May 2004 and March 2005. Among the Nordic countries, only Sweden did not impose any transitional measures to control migration from the new Member States. Nevertheless, Norway has attracted most workers, having issued 9.100 permits during this period. The nature and scope of the transitional measures in the Nordic countries differ. The measures are to be reviewed in spring 2006. 


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