Promote immigration for the sake of the economy?

With the birth rate dwindling and the number of old people rising, Europe's population is likely to soon start shrinking rather than growing. This is a burden for the economy and social welfare systems - which can be lightened among other things by immigration. But are the countries of Europe taking steps to face this challenge?

Open/close all quotes
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Switzerland facing huge skilled labour shortage

Switzerland is not paying enough attention to the growing shortage of skilled workers, Neue Zürcher Zeitung complains:

“Even with a brisk rate of immigration the economy will still lack hundreds of thousands of workers in the next ten years due to its ageing population. Already today almost one in three companies has difficulties recruiting trained staff. ... Switzerland is currently doing many things that scare away foreign firms and foreign workers - and this will backfire one day: the international competition for the most skilled employees has already begun.”

Äripäev (EE) /

Estonia needs lower rather than upper limit

The 2017 immigration quota for non-EU citizens in Estonia was already reached this month. The upper limit must be replaced by a lower limit, entrepreneur Heigo Kaldra urges in Äripäev:

“As one of the country's largest recruitment firms, we're in contact with umpteen business people on any given day. No matter who you ask, the number one problem for employers is the lack of workers, both qualified and unqualified. In the current situation, in which Estonia loses 10,000 persons of working age every year, we shouldn't be talking about a maximum quota but about a minimum quota. The current system undermines Estonia's competitiveness and hinders economic growth.”