Swoboda on freedom of movement and 'poverty migration': "Poverty is the problem, not migration"

refugees fleeing towards europe - immigration

Speaking in a European Parliament debate on freedom of movement today, Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group launched an appeal to focus on reality.

"Conservatives and the far-right have started a distraction debate that spreads fear, hatred and misinformation. In reality, less than 3% of citizens in Europe are migrants from another European country.

"EU migrants are more likely to have a job than someone living in their own country. And on average, they also contribute more to social welfare systems.

"The real problem in labour migration is that some national governments do nothing to stop exploitation, unacceptably low wages and illegal labour. Wage and labour policies are national competences – national governments should do their work to create fair policies instead of creating fear and paranoia.

"The so-called 'poverty migration' is a problem because poverty is a problem – not migration. There are enough real problems in Europe; we do not need to invent new ones. With 9% of Europeans living in extreme poverty, 26.5 million people unemployed, no decent data protection, conflict at our borders and no answer to climate change, everybody should focus their energy on reality."