The EESC considers that a holistic approach is needed to tackle today's demographic challenges, taking action on a number of economic, social and political aspects. Legal immigration forms part of the EU's response to the current demographic situation.
The common immigration policy should have a strategic approach that adopts a medium- and long term vision, taking account of all aspects.
Despite some national differences, the EU and the Member States need to have open legislation allowing immigration for employment purposes through legal, transparent channels for workers in both highly-qualified and less-qualified jobs.
Bearing the demographic challenge in mind, the EESC is of the view that the directives currently in force should be amended and new legislative instruments drawn up.
Nevertheless, Europe is now seeing an increase in intolerance, racism and xenophobia against immigrants and minorities. Politicians and others with influence in society, together with the media, must act with the utmost responsibility and set a clear political and social example in order to prevent such behaviour.
European legislation on immigration should ensure equal treatment, based on the principle of non discrimination.