EU Enlargement and Turkish Labour Migration

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This book provides an accessible and comprehensive evaluation of labour migration in general and Turkish labour migration to the European Union in particular, while focusing on critical issues and policies relating to economic, demographic, political and social implications of the EU Eastern enlargement.



Turkish labour mobility in the European Union

Although the issue of Turkish labour movement has been invoked in treaties, regulations and decisions since 1963, there have been very few attempts to demonstrate the Community’s responsibilities as far as the policy of the European Economic Community (EEC) and then of the European Union (EU) is concerned. From the outset, a main theme for the EEC was to improve the living and working conditions of Turkish migrants and to encourage integration of those migrants into European labour markets, all of which addressed the underlying difficulties. For the most part, the weaknesses of the EEC/ EU in dealing with the principle of free movement derive from the implementation of the rules in the member states. The validity of all kinds of arrangements between the EU and Turkey should, therefore, be questioned in relation to the size and nature of migration flows. The aim of this chapter is to provide a comprehensive overview of Turkish migration in the EEC/ EU. I first review developments in the Turkish workers’ situation and in the migration policy of the EEC/ EU. I then present an analysis of a number of distinct migration periods, looking at the interplay of factors during each period. This section draws on the variety of explanations, which are invoked to demonstrate the social, economic, political and legal variables. Finally, I focus on why Turkish citizens should be allowed to move into the EU freely.


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