The Europe WAPES region in action!

Joining the initiative of the Bundesagentur für Arbeit relating to the organization of a workshop on the topic of Labor Migration, the Vice-Presidency of WAPES Europe held a working meeting in order to prepare its 2023 agenda.

No less than 11 countries were present at this meeting at the Management Academy of the Federal Employment Agency de Lauf a. d. Pegnitz : United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Belgium, Turkey, Estonia, which joined for the work of the Migration workshop on Morocco and the Netherlands.

The WAPES Europa Meeting

Organized and led by Florence Dumontier and Sandrine Portier, the meeting was an opportunity for the members present to re-examine the thematic proposals mentioned during the WAPES Europe meeting in July 2022.

4 working groups specified the expectations on each of the following topics:

  • Integration of vulnerable populations (NEETs, migrants, people with disabilities, seniors, etc.)
  • Address skills shortage
  • How to better know our environment and the labor market?
  • Managing transformation, adaptation of our internal organizations, the evolution of professions in the PES

In addition, two concrete activities were proposed by Turkie on the subject of young NEETs and by Estonia on the evolution of counseling methods with the development of digitization and AI.

The production of this meeting will be formalised with a proposition of schedule drawn up jointly by the Vice-Presidency for Europe and the Executive Secretariat, then distributed to all European members of WAPES during a forthcoming remote meeting (scheduled in November before MB). The final result will be presented during the Managing Board.


After a joint opening and a word of welcome from both M. Michael Van der Cammen (Bundesagentur für Arbeit – Germany) and our President M. Mohamed Achiq (ANAPEC – Morocco), the theme of the workshop relating to labor migration is introduced by Michael Van der Cammen who will recall some important stages in the evolution of labor migration policies in recent years. To cope with increased needs for technical skills, originally due in part to demographic effects (aging of the active population) which were then amplified by cultural and societal changes (young people’s disinterest in technological sectors, choice families for part of the female working population, etc.), Germany, like other European countries, uses skilled workers in and outside Europe. The need in Germany is of the order of several hundred thousand workers per year, and the concern of the PES is to meet this expectation by guaranteeing fairness in the treatment of this mobility.

Ms. Anna-Karin Palm Olsson, Technical Advisor to the International Labor Organization, gave us an overview of labor migration, as observed by ILO in the world, and recalled the role that migration plays in certain economies: ILO estimates around 630 billion dollars in financial flows that return to low- and middle-income countries (remittances from migrants to families, investment from diasporas, etc.). She then presented to us the main standards established in terms of work and immigration and reminded us of how the bases of Conventions 88 and 181, which respectively define the commitments of public and private employment services and the main characteristics of the ” fair recruitment” (Fair Recruitment Initiative), are today ethical and political frameworks on which the PES can rely to act.

A round table allowed three PES Arbetsförmedlingen (Sweden), ANAPEC (Morocco) and Pôle emploi (France) to testify about their practices by situating them in their respective context.

This round table, moderated by Mr Alexander Wilhem (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) with the participation of Mrs Florence Dumontier (Pôle emploi), Mr Shawn Mendès (Arbetsförmedlingen) and Mr Anouar Alaoui (ANAPEC) was the occasion for many exchanges and sharing of questions which then fueled the work of two sub-groups in the afternoon.

What we can remember…

While waiting for a more detailed report of the work that we will soon share with you on our platform, here are the highlights from this workshop. :

The definition of labor migration is a broad concept that covers very different realities ranging from cross-border work to transcontinental migration, with frameworks and conditions highly dependent on international or bilateral agreements that may or may not exist between countries.

The development and changes in the labor market are leading many countries that were until now suppliers of skilled labor to adjust their policy and strategy so as not to penalize their own economic development, and to find an essential balance between skills locally mobilized and the migrant population.

Some countries, hitherto little affected by migratory movements, find themselves faced with the management of the temporary or permanent integration of refugees, sometimes with direct effects on the regulation of the labor market and the generation of new social tensions.

It is necessary to have tools and regulations to fight against an “informal” migration which can in certain cases take place by means of a simple tourist visa with sometimes the complicity of private pharmacies, proceeding on behalf of companies to extranational recruitment of qualified profiles outside the legal framework.

The PES agree on the recommendation that this migration be the result of “balanced” agreements which include reciprocal commitments such as, for example, support by the host country for the development of vocational or linguistic training in the country of departure, transparency on recruitment processes and reception and integration processes, work opportunities on return conditions (circular migration), etc.

The PES present express a strong expectation of more cooperation between them to share, in complete transparency, the reciprocal needs of their respective labor market, to be able, thanks to this networking, to contribute actively to securing and optimizing the process from the preparation, the pre-selection in the country of departure until the integration in the host country.

And what role for WAPES?

With the will and involvement of its PES members, this networking will be effective thanks to the creation and animation of a dedicated community of practice, where everyone will be able, in real time, to share information, regulatory frameworks, innovative experiences, questions, support requests, etc


Thierry HUORT, Senior Consultant, WAPES