EU commissioner Ylva Johansson: “The EU needs at least 1 million migrants per year”

Published 18 January 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Ylva Johansson (S) would like to see at least one million migrants per year in the EU.

Speaking at an EU meeting last week, Ylva Johansson, a Swedish Social Democrat and EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, spoke about the EU’s “long-term demographic challenges” which she says require very large-scale immigration into the Union.

– Legal migration should grow more or less with one million per year, she said.

Ylva Johansson’s comments in Athens on 8 January come against the backdrop of Europe’s ongoing struggle to attract high-quality workers. She pointed out that around 3.5 million migrants already arrive legally each year, compared to around 300,000 who arrive illegally.

The EU Commissioner argues that the EU will have to rely on workers from other countries as member states’ own populations age. The EU’s working-age population is decreasing by about one million per year, according to Johansson.

– That means that legal migration should grow more or less with one million per year and that is really a challenge to do that in an orderly way, said Ylva Johansson, according to the EU Observer news website.

The European Commission’s own report paints a picture of even greater population loss within member states. It predicts that the “working age” population will fall from 334 million in 2014 to around 238 million in 2060, unless the EU urgently attracts workers through migration.

Swedish Migration Minister speaks out

Swedish Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard (M) said in a written statement that the government is working to attract “the right kind of immigration”. The minister also said that more people who are already in the country need to take the jobs that are available.

– This includes promoting highly skilled labor immigration, as Sweden needs to attract talent from around the world. Sweden needs to shift the focus from large-scale low-skilled to high-skilled labor migration, and ensure that more people already in Sweden take the jobs that are available.

According to Eurostat, the EU population will increase, peaking around 2026 at just over 453 million people. Until 2050, there will then be a gradual decline to around 448 million, after which the decline will accelerate. This is expected to continue at least until 2100, when the population is expected to be around 420 million.

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