Economic Considerations in EU Refugee Immigration

The economic costs and benefits of refugee immigration should factor in the decision as to whether to accept refugees fleeing from civil war for several reasons. One is that economic costs determine how many immigrants each country is able to accept. Not all nations within the EU are equally wealthy, so decisions regarding quotas of immigrants to be apportioned to each nation will be assigned, accordingly. Immigrants will need jobs or a means to support themselves while living in the host nation. Hosting large numbers of immigrants may prove difficult for countries with existing unemployment and job crises. Are the immigrants skilled or unskilled laborers? This is a factor that must be considered, as well, because additional language, education, and/or job skills training may be needed by the immigrants.  Immigrants must be housed, fed, and provided with adequate healthcare. A nation with limited resources may be strained to meet these immigrant needs. However, the benefits of immigration may outweigh the negatives, as increased spending on immigrants and their needs seems to improve the economies of EU nation states.[1] Additionally, benefits include profits from potential new businesses immigrants may start as they become more economically stable. EU countries could benefit from the addition to the labor force, as well.  Specifically, local economies could receive a boost from the increase in population from immigrants who over time will be able to contribute to the economy – particularly in wealthier EU nations – as they become economically stable, themselves.[2]

Dorkina Myrick, MD, PhD, MPP, is a physician-scientist and pathologist trained at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Myrick also previously served as a Senior Health Policy Advisor on the United States Senate. She obtained her Master of Public Policy degree at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. Dr. Myrick is currently a JD candidate at the Boston University School of Law.


[1] “Why welcoming more refugees makes economic sense for Europe.” New Scientist. 9 September 2015. Website:

[2] Stone, Jon. “The refugee crisis is actually having ‘sizable’ economic benefits in European countries, EU says.” The Independent. 5 November 2015. Website:


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