Arrival of new Refugee may be long term gain for Europe: Anjali Sahay

Published Date:   Sunday, Feb 21, 2016

Speaking at the International conference on “Migration, Diaspora and Development” during 20-21 February 2016, organised by GRFDT at India International Centre, New Delhi, Dr. Anjali Sahay emphasised the long term gain associated with the arrival of new refugees in some countries. Is the recent crisis that emerged due to the Syrian refugee, Dr. Sahay said, “migration and refugee movements have gained unprecedented momentum in recent months with the intensification of the Syrian Refugee crisis”.  The outpouring of millions of refugees crossing over to advanced industrial countries for resettlement has sparked off many economic and political debates on the broader issue of migration and asylum seekers and their impact on many European countries as well as in United States. At the political level, countries are debating the immigration policies, border security, and caps on refugee numbers that are allowed to enter annually.  Even before the Syrian refugee crisis this has been a hotly debated topic in many European countries and their impact on socio-cultural landscape.  Within the United States, political debates on the refugee crisis has taken on different dimensions with many Presidential candidates commenting on  its impact in the United States and more than half the nation’s governors proclaiming that Syrian refugees are not welcome.

Economic debates such as the impact on public finances, impact on labor market, and impact on health care systems.  On one thing, almost all economists agree: In the long term, the refugee crisis may be unambiguously positive for the European economy. Over time, the new arrivals should play an important role in addressing Europe’s alarming demographic trends, improving the ratio of workers to those who are economically inactive, a ratio that is falling in many countries, Sahay emphasised.

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