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EU Enlargement and Turkish Labour Migration

image of EU Enlargement and Turkish Labour Migration
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.

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Past enlargement experiences

In the early 1980s, anticipated labour migration caused concerns in the European Community (EC). The problem mainly arose from granting the right of free movement to workers from Greece, Spain and Portugal at the time of the accession of these countries. Factors such as income differentials, unemployment and geographical proximity, combined with a long tradition of emigration towards the West, raised an expectation of cheap labour flooding the existing nine countries of the European Community (EC-9) as soon as these countries were given member status. This led to a widespread belief that labour migration from Turkey should, at least temporarily, be avoided, as by now the EC had enough on its plate dealing with the Southern migration episode. Following the inclusion of Greece, Spain and Portugal by 1986, the movement of Turkish labour was actually prohibited and no attempt was made to fulfil the promise that had been made earlier within the EC’s legal framework. The assumption that granting the right of free movement to workers would lead to massive flows from Greece, Spain and Portugal at the time of the accession of these countries to the EC may hold true, since the most significant decrease in the number of Turkish workers in the 1980s was recorded when the Southern enlargement occurred. The accession of Greece, Spain and Portugal could provide some basis for theorizing about the extent to which various receiving countries took a restrictive stand, which might, at the very least, be desirable from an economic standpoint.

English

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