EU wants to punish the employment of illegal immigrants more severely

The EU Commission is determined to take stronger action against the employment of illegal immigrants in future. A draft proposal includes the possibilty of punishing companies employing illegal immigrants. According to the Commission, fellow members should not forget that the prospect of finding work is one of the facts attracting illegal immigrants.

The phenomenon of illegal employment is a reality which can hardly be put in figures, says the EU. According to recent estimates there are between 4.5 and 8 million people currently living illegally in the EU. Those areas of industry which are most affected by illegal employment are the construction industry, agriculture, domestic and office cleaning service providers as well as the restaurant and hotel industry. Although EU member states have already been planning sanctions in this respect, there are still substantial differences as to the extent and enforcement of these sanctions in different EU member states. And this was, according to the Commission, the reason why bans on illegal employment were not strictly enforced in the past. Therefore it has to be certain that all member states take similar measures and actually enforce them.

Furthermore, the EU Commission proposes to set up partnerships with third party countries which are ready to co-operate actively in the fight against illegal migration. For citizens of these countries there may be the possibility of offering legal ways of immigration such as short-term visa. The EU is also considering extending the co-operation against illegal immigration geographically. Thus, there are proposals to integrate Turkey, the Western Balcan States and partner countries from the Middle East. GERMAN