In light of the growing importance of EU-India ties, as evidenced by the ongoing free trade talks between the EU and India, the Migration Policy Centre is happy to present a series of research reports that will be of interest to European policy-makers, migration scholars, as well as India-EU specialists.

Ties between the EU and India have been steadily increasing over the last decade, reflected in both multilateral and bilateral agreements with India in several sectors. India was made one of the EU´s “strategic partners” in 2004, and in June 2007, negotiations started on a free trade agreement between the EU and India, with the EU seeking a reduction in tariffs on key goods and access to India´s market in the financial services, retail, postal, and legal sectors. India, in turn, hopes to achieve greater access to the EU job market for its skilled professionals and make intra-EU mobility for them easier. The current stalled state of the Free Trade Agreement, which has been delayed several times, reinforces the need for informed research on India-EU relations, particularly in the field of migration, which has proved to be one of the most sensitive points in the negotiations.

The following reports of the CARIM-India (project co-funded by the European Union) are now available on our website:

The German Case Study, by Pierre Gottschlich, outlines the century-old history of the Indian population in Germany, with a particular focus on how despite its small size, the Indian community (ies) in Germany have become influential and well-integrated in the political sphere.

The Swedish Case Study, by Kristina Myrvold, examines the socioeconomic and religious facets of Indian immigration to Sweden, as well as Swedish migration and educational policy, highlighting the extremely heterogeneous nature of the Indian population in Sweden.

The Dutch Case Study, by Ellen Bal, describes the unique division of the Indian population in the Netherlands between the Hindustanis from the former Dutch colony of Surinam and Indian nationals, mostly highly skilled professionals, who have migrated to Holland for temporary work assignments in recent years. The paper also provides a general discussion of Holland´s policy towards the highly skilled.

The Italian Case Study, by Kathryn Lum, discusses the Punjabi and Malayali Indian groups in Italy, and traces their different migration trajectories and occupational/socioeconomic profiles. The gender, caste and religious characteristics of each of these regional groups are explored in detail, as is the impact of changes in Italian migration policy on Indians residing in Italy.

Attracting Highly Skilled Migrants: US Experiences and Lessons for the EU”, by Philip Martin, which analyses US policy in attracting and retaining highly skilled professionals from India, and compares the US experience with the new EU blue-card scheme, UK policy and German policy. It examines the challenges and opportunities for the EU in this area and concludes with policy recommendations designed to make the EU more competitive in attracting the highly skilled.

Developing a Knowledge base for policy-making on India-EU Migration: Skill-Matching”, by Göran Hultin, describes the current state of skill-matching in highly-skilled, medium-skilled and low-skilled categories across Europe, and highlights how the EU needs medium-skilled workers in a range of sectors. However, the commercial skill-matching model, employed for example by Manpower, and well suited to highly-skilled professionals, has yet to reach this critical group of workers, who still rely on informal recruitment mechanisms.

The paper by Natalia Buga and Jean-Baptiste Meyer, entitled Human Resources Mobility: Brain Drain Versus Brain Gain traces the overall profile and geographical distribution of the highly skilled diaspora from India, assesses the magnitude of India´s brain drain and discusses how India has become a "brain reservoir" in the new knowledge-based economy. The authors argue that in India´s case, there are indications that the brain drain can be converted into a brain gain in a win-win situation for both India and the EU.

The paper, the "Silent Indian Revolution in Italy´s dairy industry", by Kathryn Lum explains how Indians have come to constitute the largest and preferred group of employees in this sector. Based on fieldwork carried out in Northern Italy, it sheds light on the daily working conditions of Indian workers, the impact of their work on their families, and how Indian cow milkers are perceived both by their employers and the press. It concludes by contributing to the debate on whether this form of economic migration takes jobs away from native workers.

Best Regards,

The MPC Team

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