20 May 2016
In a report released by the TENT Foundation and the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN) on Wednesday 18 May, the Founder of OPEN and former EU Commission Economic Advisor Philippe Legrain has claimed that welcoming refugees is not just a moral and legal obligation, but also an economic opportunity for the EU. With a suitable upfront investment, coupled with progressive integration policies, welcoming refugees can result in substantial economic dividends. His calculations are based on International Monetary Fund estimates of the economic impact of asylum seekers and refugees in the European Union.
The report claims that refugees can contribute to the economy in various ways, either as workers, entrepreneurs, innovators, taxpayers, consumers or investors. The returns on investing in welcoming refugees tend to grow over time, as refugees settle down and progress in their new home country and even greater investments can be gotten from the children of refugees. ECRE previously stressed the importance of labour market access in its annual AIDA report of 2015.