Government watch. Unjustified ambitions to reduce migration through regulation

The government of Lithuania has proposed a bill establishing guidelines on Lithuania’s migration policy. According to the bill, ministries and other government institutions will have to follow the guidelines in drafting legislative proposals. The proposed guidelines reflect the government’s position on labour market issues. Although the guidelines state that negative effects of migration – a reduction of labour force and the aging of the society – cannot be handled through direct regulation, they stipulate such measures as job creation and employment promotion to counteract the consequences of migration.

LFMI warns that if job creation is considered to be yet another function of the state pursued through the allocation of government funding, the goal to curtail migration due to a reduction of unemployment will not be attained. If migration is to be reduced, it is essential to improve the business environment, to loosen obligatory employee regulations and to modernize labour law.

Another worrying aspect of the bill is its negative definition of employers. The bill states that employers’ goal to hire foreign workers poses a threat of exploitation of foreigners and human trafficking. This implies that employers who honestly hire foreign citizens are unjustifiably depicted in a negative light.


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