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International Migrants Day

16 December 2011

"On the occasion of International Migrants Day 18th of December, let me reiterate that the diversity brought by immigrants is a source of dynamism and of cultural richness for our economies and societies.

Europe is changing. We cannot afford to ignore the role immigration plays for our growth and for European competitiveness in the global arena. We must also acknowledge the role immigration will play in the future. Our continent is facing a demographic problem - our society is growing older and there are fewer hands to work in many trades. We need to be realistic: if we want to maintain our standard of living in the future, legal migration, offering the skills we need to make Europe prosperous, has to be part of the solution. Listen to the statement.