The Spanish Council Presidency has suggested that the European Union uses policies on the diaspora population to increase the pressure on third countries to cooperate with migration control.
In a discussion paper sent to the Working Party on External Aspects of Asylum and Migration, the Spanish Presidency highlighted the need to facilitate cross-border flows and sustain remittances, and the same listed some recommendations.
The paper gives attention to the questions of remittances by diaspora populations to non-European Union states, which were the largest capital inflows to low as well as middle-income countries in 2022.
Moreover, the paper also highlights the importance of reducing the cost of remittances, and at the same time, it regrets the lack of standardised regulations among the member states of the EU.
Nonetheless, the paper also emphasised that in recent years, several institutions of the EU member states have moved away from the traditional focus on remittances in an attempt to point out the benefits that can be gained through the active enactment of diaspora.
“An increasing number of migrant-sending countries are looking at raising funds from their diaspora through Diaspora Bonds, issuing bonds at a favourable premium to their diaspora, generating a flow of funds while creating a process that keeps the diaspora highly engaged with their home countries. The EU, with its resources and know-how, has the potential to assist in this work,” a part of the paper reads.
In addition to the above-mentioned, Statewatch notes that the paper also indicates that the engaging of diaspora as a means for development may play second fiddle to development as an instrument to reducing migration to the bloc.
Furthermore, it points out that the investments as well as engagement of the diaspora are one of the main sources of countries whose citizens have migrated to the EU.
“Remittances and other forms of diaspora investment and engagement are a key source of income for migrant-sending countries. They are the reason why so many partner countries keep a keen interest in legal migration, often sustaining their economies and their GDP,” the paper adds.
According to the EU Commission, migrants who live in the EU send an average of €63 billion a year to their families living in developing countries. Nonetheless, the cost of transfers, which remains high, has been a matter of debate, with the authorities planning to make changes to the current law.
As for 2022, data shows that migrants sent home almost €750 billion, with about 80 per cent of these remittances being sent to low and middle-income countries.