Comisiones | 14.10.2019

Is it necessary to restrict free movement?

While attention is focused on the migration crisis, political structures which allow the free movement of people and free trade are being put in place in all major regions of the world. Indeed, the EU has created the Schengen Area, North America – NAFTA, and South America – MERCOSUR.

The opening of borders thus leads to an increase in international mobility and has made it possible to remedy the need for labour in certain States. According to a recent study by the audit firm PwC, international professional transfers have already recorded a record 25% growth over the past ten years.

However, this context of market opening and labour mobility is not without risks: countries with high labour costs may see their productions compete with identical products that are cheaper because they are manufactured at lower costs. This situation has created many relocations, sometimes threatening employment in countries with high labour costs.

In the United States, which has traditionally been a model of liberalism, President Donald Trump constantly castigates American companies that decide to relocate their activities, and even threatens them with sanctions.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the British people voted in favour of Brexit, particularly because of the restrictions on foreign labour that will result from Britain leaving the EU.

In this context, the objective of our session at the Luxembourg Congress will be in particular to discuss the impact of the free movement of persons on the economic development of countries, but also the risks of wage and social under-pricing inherent to such freedom.

Congress #UIALuxembourg
8 November 2019 - 2 pm - 5.30 pm - Room: Briefing DE

by Rayan Houdrouge
President of the UIA Immigration and Nationality Law Commission 
Lenz & Staehelin, Geneva, Switzerland