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Swedish EU Commissioner: Europe Would Be ‘Poorer’ Without Mass Migration

Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, has claimed that the European Union would be much “poorer” without mass migration and called for more legal paths for migrants to enter the bloc.

The Swedish politician made her remarks during an interview on Monday with the Friends of Europe think tank. This group has received thousands of euros in funding from Hungarian-American left-wing billionaire George Soros and his Open Society Foundations in the past.

“There are always right-wing extremists or racist and xenophobic forces that would like to describe migrants as something abnormal, that would like to describe migrants as ‘them’ or ‘they’, but that’s not true. Migration is normal. Migrants are here,” Johansson said.
Johansson argued that a third of the doctors in Sweden are born outside of the country, saying many of them were also born outside of the EU.

“In a normal year in the EU, we have around one million, one and a half million migrants coming regularly come to our union. And without them we would be a much, much poorer union,” she said and added that illegal migrants were only 200,000 per year.

Last year, France alone saw a record number of asylum claims, with the figure reported to be in the range of 138,000 migrants.

Several economic studies counter Johansson’s claim that Europe would be poorer without mass migration in recent years since the height of the 2015 migrant crisis.
A German study published in 2016 by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg claimed that mass migration harms long-term economic growth due to migrants lacking skills or having foreign qualifications that do not meet European standards as well as language barriers.
A Swiss study published by the University of Basel in 2018 found that immigration may have short-term benefits for Western nations, but in the long term, the movement of people drains generous welfare systems.

Earlier this year, France’s parliament produced a report stating that mass migration has neither been a benefit nor harm to the economy, and had been largely neutral for France. The study noted that the lack of economic benefit was due to the immigrant population being generally low skilled.

 In Johansson’s native Sweden, the costs of immigration have been seen clearly when it comes to municipalities which took in too many migrants as they have been facing economic crises or even bankruptcy. One district, Bengtsfors, demanded cash from the national government last August just to stay afloat over the change of balance of its population.
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