Arguments in numbers
- The Czech Republic loses 20,000 inhabitants every year due to natural decline. In 30 years it has a population of 600,000. (V. Špidla for Law 10/2001)
- According to EUROSTAT, the Czech Republic has the lowest birth rate of all EU candidate countries. In 1999, only 1.1 children per productive woman were born in our country. The conservation value of the Czech Republic loses 20,000 inhabitants every year due to natural decline. At the age of 30, the population is 2.1 children per woman. Even with a slightly increasing trend (1.3 children per 1 woman of working age in the first half of 2006), the birth rate is not enough to simply reproduce the population.
- The need for an influx of people born abroad will not be changed by pro-population measures (including area-based family allowances). These can only have a short-term effect, as was the case with Husák’s so-called children from the first half of the 1970s (advantageous newlywed loans, cheap children’s clothes, etc.).
- At present, legal immigrants represent less than three percent of the Czech population, while in European countries it is around 10 percent. Yet even there he struggles with a shortage of people. We need to prepare in time for the growing share of immigrants in the population.
- Almost ninety percent of foreigners living legally in the Czech Republic are of working age (15-59 years) , which is more than in the Czech population.
The aim of the project is to create attractive conditions for professionals from abroad to settle permanently in the Czech Republic
- The effort to strengthen the national labor market by foreign experts is not only Czech specifics. Most developed countries need immigration. The population is aging, life expectancy is increasing, while the number of births is falling and the number of economically active people will also fall. Immigration is also a tax on immobile domestic labor.
- The importance of immigration in developed countries is evidenced, for example, by the fact that the extensive study “Shaping Immigration – Promoting Integration”, which was prepared in Germany as a basis for creating a new immigration law, begins with the words: “Germany needs immigrants.”
- Many UN, EU or Council of Europe reports point to the importance of immigration. In this context, the importance of equal opportunities in employment and education for immigrants and ethnic minorities is emphasized. Many share the view that a number of positive measures need to be taken to provide immigrants with both quality opportunities and help to overcome the language and other knowledge deficits. The Czech project does not go that far yet, but shortening the deadline for obtaining permanent residence not only for its participants but also their families gives them security for their stay and also relieves them of the administrative and financial burden of repeatedly extending a visa for more than 90 days for employment. and have the opportunity to better plan their future.
- In the Czech Republic, this is not a system of green cards, where foreign experts are given the opportunity to work abroad for several years. The aim of the pilot project is the permanent integration of qualified foreign workers into Czech society. The project also does not cover unskilled labor. Their need is fully satisfied by the current system of short-term employment of foreigners.
The pilot project is limited by annually set quotas and will be modified as needed
- During the elaboration of the Czech project, emphasis was placed on its pilot nature, which will be emphasized especially in the first years of implementation, when the setting up and operation of the new system will be tested on a small number of people and their limited circle. It has the potential to expand further, both in terms of numbers and the range of people it covers.
- With regard to this concept and the duration of the pilot project, which is set at five years, different aspects of the system can be tested in individual stages – eg information flows, setting selection criteria or the ability to deal with a large number of people entering and leaving the system. .
- In the first years, it is necessary to test, for example, the mechanisms for accepting applications for participation in the project, both in the Czech Republic and at Czech embassies abroad, the functioning of the computer program selection procedure, communication between the MLSA and applicants for participation in the program. participants, etc. Only once the smooth operation of the system is ensured will it be possible to extend the pilot project to other countries.
- The ultimate goal of the project is not only foreign workers from the East. Given that the Czech Republic has become a member of the EU, very liberal rules for the free movement of persons will apply to all citizens of member states, including in the field of employment and residence of foreigners, so it would not make sense to try a pilot project in Western European countries. The choice therefore fell on countries with similar characteristics, so that a comparison could be made when evaluating the set criteria. These are countries with a relatively comparable population, similar historical experience, more or less similar education systems and levels of education, as well as linguistic kinship.
- These are not large numbers yet, in the first years of pilot operation a maximum of several hundred people will be admitted per year. The total migration increase in the Czech Republic has stabilized in recent years at around 15,000 people per year.
- A pilot sample of several hundred people a year has no ambition to be demographically beneficial. The quotas for the number of recruited staff will be evaluated each year according to the current state of the labor market. The project is based on the principles of regular evaluation and possible reassessment, so that everything is perfectly prepared for its future extension to all countries.
Qualified labor market professionals are already lacking and the situation will deteriorate
- Active migration management is not a new discovery, but it is actively used by only a few countries (eg Canada, Australia, Germany, Great Britain). Its goal is to use easy-to-use, simple and inexpensive tools to move from a passive response to an ongoing migration to the active management of one of the components of an economically motivated migration.
- In Europe, a similar program, such as the Czech pilot project, is being implemented by the United Kingdom or Germany. Other countries have only isolated programs limited to certain professions. We are not following Europe in this aspect, but we are at the forefront of it. The European Commission’s Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Migration, Integration and Employment No. 336 of June 2003 supports a similar focus as the Czech project.
- EU policy is to strive for competitiveness and managed migration using its potential. The Czech Republic has a chance to be among the first to gain the advantage of quality selection.
According to experts, the project will benefit the Czechia:
- “I look at the whole thing positively. Given that it is supposed to be a university-educated force, this project will contribute to economic and knowledge development,” says David Marek from Patria Finance. According to him, a similar procedure is necessary for the republic. “The focus on lower production costs is not sustainable, we are already competing in Eastern European countries. The future of the Czech economy is at a higher price level in the export of goods. And we need highly qualified workers for that,” Marek added. (CTK, July 15, 2003).
- “We certainly welcome him. The inflow of foreign investment will continue and investors need skilled workers,” said former Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Martin Jahn. He adds that according to the assumptions of future investments, there will soon be a shortage of, for example, toolmakers or software engineers. (Tereza Zavadilová, Lidové noviny, 11 January 2002).
- “We already feel a shortage of specialists in a number of fields and we have to look for some top workers’ professions abroad,” confirmed Michal Kraus, former HR director at Pilsen Holding. The unions do not protest against the project either. (Jitka Hrivňáková, Moravské deníky Bohemia, October 31, 2001)
- In connection with the accession to the European Union, an outflow of Czech workers can be expected, who will respond to the offers of other states facing the same problem. As part of the CAPE program organized by the European Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Eurochambers and funded by the European Union’s Phare program, the third year of the questionnaire survey on the readiness of companies for the EU single market took place at the turn of February and March 2003. The negative effects of the entry also include sharper competition on the domestic market. Also a shortage of skilled labor due to migration. For example, for companies that export between 30 and 50 percent of their production, the percentage of feared outflows of skilled workers abroad has risen to 7.4 percent from the previous 4.1 percent. The concern of Czech companies is greater than the average for all candidate countries. (Entrepreneurs fear the consequences of migration, Mladá fronta Dnes, June 17, 2003)
Skilled workers practically do not compete and will not increase unemployment, on the contrary
- Entry into the preferential procedure will be tied to the agreed employment in the Czech Republic and previous work experience acquired anywhere. These principles should guarantee the least possible negative impact on the labor market and guarantee the required level of work experience of the candidates. Agreed employment in the Czech Republic almost always means a work permit issued by the locally competent labor office with regard to the situation on the labor market. This should guarantee that there will not be a situation where a foreign expert obtains a job that could be filled by a qualified Czech expert.
- Therefore, the project will not endanger the job opportunities of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic, as in other developed countries, a phenomenon known by experts as the so-called employment paradox can be observed. This means that at a time of relatively high unemployment, there are a growing number of vacancies in the same employment sectors that cannot be filled by domestic workers, either due to insufficient qualifications or insufficient mobility.
- Conversely, according to the German study “Shaping Immigration – Promoting Integration”, skilled immigrants may increase the demand for less skilled work and thus contribute to reducing unemployment.
- Foreigners who already live and work in the Czech Republic will also be included in the selection procedure. This therefore shows that they are in demand in the labor market. Employers lack certain professions. The labor market does not offer certain professions, so employers turn abroad. Therefore, in addition to 83,000 Slovak citizens, there are also about 64,000 legally employed foreigners from non-EU countries in the Czech Republic.
- Foreigners in the Czech Republic mostly work in manual occupations, but in recent years we have witnessed a certain turnaround. It is positive that the number of foreigners who are employed in professions where a university degree is required is steadily growing. At present, this share is more than 15% and the share of women is also growing.
- We are currently facing, for example, a shortage of skilled workers in engineering. This is a consequence of the situation in the early 1990s, when industry was being restructured, redundancies and young people were not interested in these fields.
Experience from similar projects shows that a qualified professional will create more than one job that can be filled by Czech citizens
- If the arrival of a qualified expert on the Czech labor market has the same impact as the German creators of the study “Forming Immigration – Promoting Integration”, the concept of which is very similar to the Czech model, then a secondary aspect of the arrival of one qualified worker will be , which can be occupied by the Czech neighbors of a new fellow citizen.
- In practice, on the one hand, immigrants replacing low-skilled domestic forces, which is not the intention of the Czech pilot project, and on the other hand, qualified immigrants create additional job opportunities for natives. On the other hand, immigration of skilled workers may lead to the opening up of additional opportunities for the domestic population, especially if immigrants have special abilities, according to a German study.
- Labor market-oriented immigration must not lead to the loss of labor market adjustment processes. Immigration of the skilled workforce must not be a particular burden on domestic educational efforts. At the same time, wage flexibility must be maintained, which gives rise to qualifications.
Experts from abroad will be capable people and will be net payers to the social security system
- The selection of foreigners has strict criteria. According to the project, it is necessary to prevent the risk of a residence permit being granted to an applicant who is in danger of being dependent on social support in the Czech Republic. The criteria will guarantee that people with the best prerequisites for success come to the Czech Republic from abroad. These people are unlikely to be unemployed in the future either.
- Those interested in participating in the project already show that they are sufficiently active and able to take care of themselves by obtaining a job and a visa.
- People who are included in the selection procedure will have a greater motivation to keep their job, on the other hand, employers will have the prospect that they will not lose a good worker just because bureaucratic obstacles will bore him over time and this person will return home.
Experts from abroad will partially help solve the problem of population aging and the crisis of the pension system
- One of the decisive reasons for an active attitude to migration is the consequences of demographic development and its projection. Although the effects of demographic aging on social security systems will only be partially addressed by the arrival of new payers with other family patterns, it will be difficult to meet labor market requirements for more qualified professionals only through immigration. However, the arrival of young, qualified professionals from abroad who settle in the Czech Republic and integrate into society can at least partially contribute to solving these expected problems.
- According to the study of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs “Analysis of the demographic situation on the labor market until 2030”, approximately 420,000 people of working age will be missing on the Czech labor market in that year. Crisis options even speak of a deficit of two million if the standard of living of the older generation is to be maintained. On a five-year pilot project, the Czech Republic is to test whether it can fill gaps in the labor market and partially solve the problems of the pension system. However, this should only be a side effect for the time being. The aim of the project is not to solve the current specific problems on the labor market, but to select such applicants for resettlement to the Czech Republic, for whom there are preconditions for smooth integration. Thanks to their education and other qualities, they will be a long-term benefit for society.
- The project envisages the involvement of the whole family in Czech society, which is one of the decisive factors for the success of integration. The family is an important anchor for immigrants in society, especially through children and future generations, as confirmed by foreign experience. This experience also shows that the higher the integration of those involved in the national labor market, the greater the benefits of the host countries’ economies.
Migration is not negative, it cannot be prevented and it is better to manage and profit from it
- International migration of people is a phenomenon that affects every civilized state. With a passive approach to migration, the state deprives migrants of the opportunity to come to the country and regulate and increase the benefits that flow from it. Immigration increases the potential of the workforce and thus the production potential, helps to increase demand, reduce population decline and thus stimulate economic growth.
- Developed countries are already realizing that whoever directs their immigration policy in the right direction wins. This is particularly important in Europe, as this continent is aging faster than other regions. Although immigration is known to be a permanent treatment, it is worthwhile. Although it cannot stop the aging population, it can significantly reduce this process. Foreign experience suggests that liberal immigration policy benefits everyone.
- The Czech Republic also needs an active immigration policy, as it can help eliminate the negative effects that the population has on the social security system due to population decline and aging.
- The least hostility towards immigrants is in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. In contrast, in Europe and Japan, immigration is perceived as a new phenomenon, their society is older and therefore less able to accept change.
- European integration policy is based, among other things, on the fact that employment is essential for integration into society – it ensures regular income and economic independence, security, social status, the opportunity to establish relationships with people from the majority community and also social integration. This is the essence of the Czech pilot project.
- Many immigrants initially take up work in the least attractive areas of the labor market, where there is less competition. They may lack the recognized knowledge, education or language skills needed to compete for a better job. They have to deal with discrimination, low-skilled jobs and higher unemployment rates than the general population. The Czech project seeks to help them integrate more easily into mainstream society.
- The task of the government project is to explore the so-called bottlenecks in our laws. This may also apply to the Act on Acquisition of Citizenship or the Aliens Act. It can bring new experience from the legal employment of foreigners in the Czech Republic. (A German study also states that there is no experience with immigration of highly skilled workers, but that it must be assumed that it increases the innovative capacity of the economy and competitiveness.)
- The project multiplies the control mechanisms of the foreign police and labor offices