The EU is setting up a first job centre for African migrants, in Mali, West Africa, for farm labour, construction or cleaning work, for example. The idea is to increase legal migration, to fill a need in Europe, and to ease pressures from the increasing flow of migrants trying to enter the EU illegally – on dangerous journeys with no assurance in the end.
Help will be provided for visas and residence permits. A humanitarian affairs spokesman in Brussels explained how the plan might be expanded: “Firstly, it’s for Malians – as a pilot project. The aim is to work with the West African regional organisation CEDEAO. If the results are positive, a network could be set up, to have a real impact on clandestine immigration.”
Yet the Polish author of a European Parliament report on workers from the new EU Member States – who face temporary restrictions on labour movement within the bloc – raised questions about fairness. He said many Poles, Lithuanians, Romanians and others would happily fill low-skilled jobs in their own Union.