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Attracting Skills and Talent to the EU

What should we focus on?

On 27 April 2022, the European Commission published a Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on ‘Attracting Skills and Talent to the EU’. We sat down with researchers for them to offer their insights on the proposed initiatives and evaluate policy options based on research evidence.

Key Messages

  • Migration policies on their own are not enough to attract skilled migrants. The EU should further intensify its efforts in attracting skills and talents, focusing on creating a comprehensive and multi-sectoral strategy.
  • The EU and its Member States need to invest in potential migrants‘ perception of the region. Welcoming communities and individuals’ own motivations play an important role in migrants’ decision-making processes on where to go.
  • Recognition of foreign migrants‘ credentials should be streamlined, simplified and facilitated at the EU level, without compromising on the level of skills sought. This not only ensures that efficient skill matching is possible but also creates an environment in which migrant skills are valued.
  • Consideration should also be given to an EU-supported programme aimed at attracting back nationals who have emigrated.



  • Anger S., Bassetto J. and Sandner M. (2022) Making Integration Work? Facilitating Access to Occupational Recognition and Immigrants’ Labor Market Performance. IAB-Discussion Paper 11/2022, Nuremberg: Institute for Employment Research (IAB).
  • Czaika M., Erdal M.B. and Talleraas C. (2021) Theorising the interaction between migration-relevant policies and migration driver environments. QuantMig Project Deliverable 1.4. Krems/Oslo: Danube University Krems and PRIO. Available via
  • Di Iasio V. and Wahba J. (2021). Natives’ Attitudes and Immigration Flows to Europe. QuantMig Project Deliverable D3.3. Southampton: University of Southampton. Available via
  • Navarra C. and Fernandes M., (2021) Legal migration policy and law. European Added Value Assessment. Brussels: European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). Available via



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This work has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 870299. This document reflects the authors’ view and the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


Read more about the QuantMig project here and follow the project on Twitter.

Additional Information

Authors of Original Article


Anger, S., Bijak, J., Bosch, P., Czaika, M., de Groot, D., Miyar Busto, M. and Wahba, J. (2022). Attracting Skills and Talent to the EU: What should we focus on? Population & Policy Compact 37, Berlin: Max Planck Society/Population Europe.