“The demographic trajectories are there. It will happen, we will not escape it…” It is with these words that the Spanish Minister for Social Security, Inclusion and Migration spoke about the future of his country.
José Luis Escriva elaborated on the need for migrants, reported French public radio, FranceInfo. The minister detailed his plans during the OECD Forum on Migration: “We will need 8 or 9 million people just to keep our active population at the same level.”
The Spanish economy will therefore require “millions and millions of migrants in coming years” if it wants to remain at its current level. With 47 million inhabitants, the demography of Spain is worrying, according to the minister.
His statements were similar to those of Jean-Paul Delevoye, the former retirement commissioner who declared at the end of November that “European demography and its aging population needed 50 million people from a foreign population” in order “to balance the active population by Europe in 2050”.
Is it a necessity? It would seem so, according to José Luis Escriva who believes that, if his country wants to maintain an equivalent level of comfort, this necessarily involves migrants. “Our population will be more mixed,” he added. “We must prepare societies for this,” he said. He pleaded for the better “education” of future generations on this issue.
However, the subject of immigration remains a major problem in Europe, with 2,5 million entries in the EU in 2019, including 150 000 illegal arrivals.
“It’s a problem, we have to deal with irregular arrivals much better,” conceded Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Migration. This is also the reason why there is a lack of European confidence on the issue.
“European citizens want to welcome migrants in need of international protection and want to welcome people who will contribute to our economy, but they are worried that we cannot manage migration, that we cannot control it,” added the commissioner.
However, for those who have the right to stay, “they are welcome, we must welcome them,” insisted Ylva Johansson.