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See detailIllegal employment of Third-Country Nationals in the EU
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, Ralph UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2017)

Illegal employment by third country nationals is a reality in Luxembourg. However, as well as in the case of grey and informal economy, it is rather hard to grasp or quantify to which extent. Nevertheless ... [more ▼]

Illegal employment by third country nationals is a reality in Luxembourg. However, as well as in the case of grey and informal economy, it is rather hard to grasp or quantify to which extent. Nevertheless, the problem is not as significant as the one of the posted workers which is more relevant and worrisome and needs to be situated in the context of a labour market of the Greater Region. In the past, several labour related regularisation measures have been implemented in Luxembourg in order to provide both employers and employees the possibility to regularise situations of illegal employment. The last labour related regularisation measure was implemented in early 2013 in the context of the transposition of the Employers' Sanctions Directive 2009/52 by law of 21 December 2012. During this regularisation, the Directorate of Immigration received 664 applications. These regularisations give a partial indication of the extent of the phenomenon, even though these numbers do not provide a real picture of the problem because the conditions of this regularisation were very strict and in a very short time frame (less than two months) and a certain number of irregular migrants’ workers were not willing to expose themselves by applying and preferred to remain undetected. This regularisation also provided information on the main sectors were the phenomenon is found in order of importance: HORECA, cleaning, crafts, industry and construction. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidary Economy at the end of the regularisation has insisted in the need to increase the number of controls to employers. The law of 21 December 2012 established administrative as well as criminal sanctions for employers who illegally employ irregularly staying third country nationals, particularly in relation to offenses to the Labour Code in aggravating circumstances. This law amended also article 89 of the Immigration Law abrogating the possibility of making labour related regularisations. The Inspectorate of Labour (‘Inspection de Travail et des Mines’, hereafter called ITM), which is in charge of labour inspections and the control of illegal employment of TCNs in Luxembourg, is currently going through a restructuring phase following the latest audit of this administration from January 2015. Particularly the current insufficient number of staff of the ITM, which is in need of a significant short term increase of staff, represents a main challenge in the field of illegal employment in Luxembourg. It is also in the context of this restructuring phase of the responsible administration that the drafting of this study presented a number of challenges, especially in relation to the operational and statistical part of the template. The information regarding the conditions to be fulfilled by both the employers and the employees in the context of an employment relationship are available on the website of the concerned authorities. Furthermore, they are disseminated by the NGOs working in the field, even though there are no specific campaigns targeted to prevent illegal employment of TCNs. The matter was raised in the context of the ‘social identification badge’, which was introduced in 2013 in order to fight against social dumping in particular in the construction sector. One national stakeholder suggested that the ‘social identification badge’ could be revised and adapted to other economic sectors in order to better monitor and prevent illegal employment. In regards to access to justice and enforcement of rights of illegally employed TCNs, Luxembourg foresees the right for illegally employed TCNs to make a claim against their employer, including in cases in which they have, or have been, returned. This claim falls under the general provisions concerning the right to bring a case before civil courts. The Labour Code establishes that the employer who has employed an irregular staying third-country national must pay to the third-country national the following amounts: 1) salaries and any other emoluments, which a similar employee would have benefited for the same employment; 2) the total amount of outstanding remuneration as well as the cost of the transfer of these amounts to the third-country national to the country to which s/he is returned; 3) the total amount of unpaid social contributions and taxes, including administrative fines, as well as, court and legal fees. In addition, the Labour Code establishes that the third-country national who has been illegally employed before the execution of any return decision has to be systematically and objectively informed by the control agents of his/her rights to recover the outstanding remunerations and back payments, as well as the right to benefit from free of charge legal aid in order to attempt a recovery action against the employer, even if the third-country national has already been returned. Labour unions can support and assist TCNs in legal proceedings related to social and labour law, provided that they have been given a mandate to do so. Eventual costs of administrative and civil proceedings can be taken in charge by the labour unions if the TCN is a member of the respective labour union. The Law does not establish fines against TCN’s who were illegally employed. The TCN may be issued a return decision and lose his/her residence rights; however, the Directorate of immigration processes these situations on a case-by-case basis and inform the persons concerned to terminate the illegal employment situation. [less ▲]

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See detailFamily reunification of third-country nationals in the EU: national practices (country report Luxembourg)
Petry, David UL; Jacobs, Sarah UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2017)

In Luxembourg, family reunification is one of the main reasons for immigration of third-country nationals. In fact, “family member” and “private reasons (family links)” residence permits (first deliveries ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourg, family reunification is one of the main reasons for immigration of third-country nationals. In fact, “family member” and “private reasons (family links)” residence permits (first deliveries and renewals) represented more than a third of all residence permits issued during the last three years. While the right to family reunification was solely provided by international law and regulated by administrative practice until 2008, the transposition of Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification led to a much more precise and detailed legal framework. A notable change in legislation has been proposed with the introduction of bill n° 6992 , namely the harmonisation of the conditions that apply to third-country national employees with those of Blue Card holders and researchers. Thus, family reunification requirements for certain categories of applicants shall be alleviated through the abrogation of the 12-month residence requirement for the sponsor. In order to apply for family reunification in Luxembourg, sponsors have to meet a number of requirements for exercising the right to family reunification, which include the provision of suitable accommodation for the size of their family; meeting health and safety standards; health insurance; as well as stable and regular resources to provide for themselves and their family members. As recommended by Directive 2003/86/EC, Luxembourg sets out more favourable conditions to beneficiaries of international protection for the exercise of their right to family reunification. Thus, they do not have to comply with the above-mentioned requirements in case they apply for family reunification within 3 months of being granted the status. Family members who have come to Luxembourg under family reunification have access to education, orientation, vocational training, lifelong learning and professional retraining once their residence permit has been issued. Family members furthermore have access to the labour market. In case the family member has resided in Luxembourg for less than one year when the application is submitted, it will be submitted to the labour market test. Family members can also, under a number of conditions, benefit from guaranteed minimum income, social aid, long-term residence status as well as citizenship. National stakeholders noted that the requirement of finding appropriate accommodation and proving stable and regular resources is one of the main challenges for sponsors. For family members as well as sponsors, having sufficient financial resources to cover the costs of family reunification can be another challenge to accessing family reunification. Family members of beneficiaries of international protection in particular face the more procedural challenge of providing proof of identity and family links, which can be difficult due to lacking documentation, differing administrative practices in the country of origin and/or the lack of cooperation of institutions. Gaining access to family reunification is also particularly difficult for beneficiaries of international protection who arrived in Luxembourg as unaccompanied minors but reached adulthood during the examination of their file, as they must provide proof of their family member’s dependency upon them. The limited number of diplomatic representations of Luxembourg abroad poses a challenge both to family members who must present themselves there, as well as for the Luxembourgish authorities who require information on certain countries. Perceived as a best practice with regard to family reunification are the information that NGOs and the lawyers in the field of migration and asylum provide to beneficiaries of international protection with regard to procedures of family reunification, thereby contributing to the beneficiary’s ability to enter an application for family reunification within the 3-month period. The practice of accepting the submission of an application of family members of beneficiaries of international protection that contains only a commencement of proof of family links and allowing for the finalisation at a later date is also perceived as a good practice, as it enables them to exercise their right to family reunification while benefitting from more favourable conditions. Furthermore, the issuance of a “laisser-passer” for beneficiaries of international protection who cannot obtain travel documents is perceived as a big step forward by national stakeholders. Lastly, Restoring Family Links, a service provided by the Luxembourgish Red Cross, is also considered a reliable tool with regard to tracing missing family members abroad. [less ▲]

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See detailResettlement and Humanitarian Admission Programmes in Europe – what works?
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, David UL; Marcus, Noemie UL et al

Report (2016)

Luxembourg has a long tradition in “resettling” refugees from various parts of the world, but a more structured policy has only recently been implemented. National legislation does not include any ... [more ▼]

Luxembourg has a long tradition in “resettling” refugees from various parts of the world, but a more structured policy has only recently been implemented. National legislation does not include any provisions relating to resettlement policy and there are no specific national programmes. The resettlements have always been implemented on an ad-hoc basis or within broader programmes set up by the European Commission and/or UNHCR. Since 2014, Luxembourg additionally applies a quota of refugees to be annually resettled (15-20 persons). The implementation and organisation of the resettlement process may vary case by case and there is no standardised procedure applicable except for regular resettlements for which the framework is to a large extent outlined in the UNHCR’s Resettlement Handbook. The selection and identification of resettled persons is coordinated by the Directorate of Immigration in close collaboration with UNHCR, who performs in principle an eligibility assessment for the refugee status, which the Luxembourgish authorities shall take over once the person arrives in Luxembourg. For each resettlement mission Luxembourg sets a general profile as well as the number of persons they intend to resettle. These criteria do basically not differ from UNHCR’s Global Resettlement Submission Criteria and thus include women, children, elderly refugees as well as refugees with disabilities and diseases, except for those suffering from pathologies for which there is no adequate treatment available in Luxembourg. Apart from the vulnerability criteria, Luxembourgish authorities also take the “integration potential” into consideration when selecting candidates eligible for resettlements. This might explain the general preference of resettling entire families rather than single persons. Resettlement implemented within the EU Turkey 1:1 scheme, based on the agreement between the EU and Turkey of 18 March 2016, is considered separately by national authorities. For UNHCR, who is not a party to this agreement, engagement in the resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey is considered part of its regular resettlement activities. Procedurally, UNHCR continues to receive resettlement referrals from Turkey’s Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) and further continues to undertake phone and face-to-face interviews with eligible candidates. However, as opposed to regular resettlement, the assessment undertaken by UNHCR is streamlined. The Luxembourgish Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) coordinates the reception and integration phase of the resettled refugees. Although policy and law are the same for both, resettled refugees and other beneficiaries of international protection, in practice the support provided may differ in an initial phase. Thus, resettled refugees are accommodated upon arrival within a common reception centre where they shall be provided with a more intense support, especially during the first weeks after their arrival in Luxembourg. Since April 2016, a newly created service of the Luxembourgish Red Cross (Lisko) has been mandated, under the overall coordination of the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region, to take charge of the social support and integration of benefeciciaries of international protection, including resettled persons. Other national NGOs and associations also provide counselling and assistance. The present report identifies several challenges faced by both, the resettled persons as well as the competent authorities. These challenges prove particular significant in the post-arrival and integration phase. While some of these challenges are common to beneficiaries of international protection in general, some others may be more specifically relevant for resettled refugees, namely the absence of a transition period, coordination with local stakeholders, as well as timely provision of information to selected candidates for resettlement. [less ▲]

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See detailReturning Rejected Asylum Seekers: Challenges and good practices
Dionisio, Linda UL; Marcus, Noemie UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2016)

The issue of non-return of rejected international protection applicants does not enjoy a high political profile on its own, but has been discussed as part of a global debate on asylum. Significant efforts ... [more ▼]

The issue of non-return of rejected international protection applicants does not enjoy a high political profile on its own, but has been discussed as part of a global debate on asylum. Significant efforts are required when considering the wide spectrum of possible reasons of non-return, some reasons depending on the countries of destination, others on the returnee himself/herself. In this respect, reasons of non return range from the non-respect of deadlines, the issuance of travel documents, postponement of removal for external reasons to the returnee, for medical reasons, the resistance of the third-country national and the lack of diplomatic representation of Luxembourg, to name but a few. In regards to the procedure, in Luxembourg the rejection of the international protection application includes the return decision. The Minister in charge of Immigration, through the Directorate of Immigration, issues this decision. The return decision only becomes enforceable when all appeals are exhausted and the final negative decision of rejection of the competent judicial authority enters into force, as appeals have suspensive effects. This decision also sets out the timeframe during which the rejected international protection applicant has to leave the country. In case the applicant does not opt for a voluntary return, the decision will also include the country to which s/he will be sent. In general, the decision provides for a period of 30 days during which the applicant has the option to leave voluntarily and to benefit from financial support in case of assisted voluntary return through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There are two exceptions to this rule: the applicant who is considered a threat to national security, public safety or homeland security and the applicant who has already been issued a return decision before. The declaration and documentation provided during the procedure of international protection can be used to facilitate return. Subsequent applications are possible, in particular if new evidence of facts appears resulting in an increased likelihood of the applicant to qualify for international protection. For rejected international protection applicants who did not opt for voluntary return and did not receive any postponement of removals, a certain (limited) support is available while waiting for the execution of the enforceable return decision. As such, they continue to stay in reception facilities and to receive certain social benefits unless they transgress any internal rules. If an urgent need exists, rejected applicants may be granted a humanitarian social aid. However, they are not entitled to access the labour market or to receive ‘pocket money’ or the free use of transport facilities. They benefit from an access to education and training, however this access cannot constitute a possible reason for non-return. These benefits are available to rejected applicants until the moment of their removal. In order to enforce the return decision and prevent absconding, the Minister may place the rejected international applicant in the detention centre, especially if s/he is deemed to be obstructing their own return. Other possible measures include house arrest, regular reporting surrendering her/his passport or depositing a financial guarantee of 5000€. Most of these alternatives to detention were introduced with the Law of 18 December 2015 which entered into force on 1st January 2016. As a consequence, detention remains the main measure used to enforce return decisions. A number of challenges to return and measures to curb them are detailed in this study. A part of these measures have been set up to minimize the resistance to return from the returnee. First and foremost is the advocacy of the AVRR programme and the dissemination of information relating to this programme but also the establishment of a specific return programme to West Balkan countries not subject to visa requirements. Other measures aim at facilitating the execution of forced returns, such as police escorts or the placement in the detention centre. Finally, significant efforts are directed towards increasing bilateral cooperation and a constant commitment to the conclusion of readmission agreements. No special measures were introduced after 2014 in response to the exceptional flows of international protection applicants arriving in the EU. While the Return service within the Directorate of Immigration has continued to expand its participation to European Networks and in various transnational projects in matters of return, this participation was already set into motion prior to the exceptional flows of 2014. As for effective measures curbing challenges to return, this study brings to light the AVRR programme but especially the separate return programme for returnees from West Balkan countries exempt of visa requirements. The dissemination of information on voluntary return is also considered an effective policy measure, the information being made available from the very start of the international protection application. Among the cases where return is not immediately possible, a considerable distinction has to be made in regards to the reasons for the non-return. Indeed, in cases where the delay is due to the medical condition of the returnee or to material and technical reasons that are external to the returnee, a postponement of removal will be granted. This postponement allows for the rejected applicant to remain on the territory on a temporary basis, without being authorized to reside and may be accompanied by a measure of house arrest or other. In cases of postponement for medical reasons and of subsequent renewals bringing the total length of postponement over two years, the rejected applicant may apply for a residence permit for private reasons based on humanitarian grounds of exceptional seriousness. Nevertheless, apart from this exception, no official status is granted to individuals who cannot immediately be returned. Several measures of support are available to beneficiaries of postponement to removal: they have access to accommodation in the reception centres they were housed in during their procedure, they may be attributed humanitarian aid, they continue to be affiliated at the National Health Fund, they continue to have access to education and professional training and they are allowed to work through a temporary work authorization. The temporary work authorization is only valid for a single profession and a single employer for the duration of the postponement to removal, although this is an extremely rare occurrence in practice. OLAI may allocate a humanitarian aid might be allocated if the individual was already assisted by OLAI during the procedure of her/his international protection application. All of these measures apply until the moment of return. The study also puts forth a number of best practices such as the Croix-Rouge’s involvement in police trainings, their offer of punctual support to vulnerable people through international networking or the socio-psychological support given to vulnerable people placed in the detention centre among others. A special regard has to be given to AVRR programmes and their pre-departure information and counselling, the dissemination of information and the post-arrival support and reintegration assistance. Indeed, stakeholders singled the AVRR programme out as a best practice and the Luxembourgish government has made voluntary return a policy priority for a long time. However, this increased interest in voluntary returns has to be put into perspective as research shows that sustainable success of voluntary return and reintegration measures is only achieved for a very restricted number of beneficiaries (namely for young, autonomous and dynamic returnees with sizeable social networks and who were granted substantial social capital upon return). Hence, returning women remains a sensitive issue, especially if they were fleeing abusive relationships. Another factor contributing to hardship set forth by research is the difficult reintegration of returnees that have lived outside of their country of return for a prolonged period of time and are therefore unable to rely on social networks for support or for a sense of belonging. Based on these considerations, NGOs and academia cast doubts on the ‘voluntary’ nature of these return programmes, their criticism targeting the misleading labelling of these policy measures. [less ▲]

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See detailLes mineurs en exil: Cadre juridique concernant l'accueil des mineurs non accompagnés au Luxembourg
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL

in Forum für Politik, Gesellschaft und Kultur in Luxemburg (2016), 364

This article describes the legal framework of the reception conditions of unaccompanied minors in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

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See detailIntegration of beneficiaries of international/humanitarian protection into the labour market: Policies and good practices
Petry, David UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2016)

In Luxembourgish legislation the term “international protection” includes both refugee status and subsidiary protection status. Integration of beneficiaries of international protection into the ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourgish legislation the term “international protection” includes both refugee status and subsidiary protection status. Integration of beneficiaries of international protection into the Luxembourgish labour market might appear quite unproblematic at first glance. From a legal point of view, the access is indeed very much open to both beneficiaries of international protection as well as beneficiaries of subsidiary protection. As from 2006 onwards, the legislator proceeded with an approximation of both statuses, providing the same rights to both types of beneficiaries of international protection. As soon as the applicants are granted international protection they are authorised to engage in employed or self-employed activities under the same conditions as Luxembourgish nationals, with the exceptionof civil servant jobs. This is also true for most of the support measures that aim to advance or enhance the access to employment, whether on the level of education, vocational training, language learning, recognition of diploma, counselling, social aid or access to housing. In each of those areas, the beneficiaries of international may in principle benefit from equivalent access as provided to other migrants, third-countrynationals or Luxembourgish nationals. Yet, the reality on the ground seldom matches the aims of the legislative framework. Effective access to the labour market remains a significant challenge for beneficiaries of international protection in order to fully integrate in Luxembourgish society. The linguistic regime as well as the high demands in terms of language requirements constitute a first major hurdle, both at the level of education/vocational training and the labour market. Rather than being able to immediately access the regular education system, respectively the labour market, refugees must first engage in a learning process sometimes coupled with administrative procedures (i.e. recognition of diplomas) that may significantly slow down the integration process. The transition period that begins once the applicant is granted international protection status appears to be particularly challenging. Indeed, several measures from which the applicants for international protection benefited during the procedure will no longer be available once they are granted the status. Thus, social aid, including housing, provided to international protection seekers will no longer be applicable to refugees. Even though national authorities have implemented several specific targeted measures in order to facilitate the transition period (i.e. progressive financial contribution to accommodation costs), it remains a phase of instability and uncertainty for the refugees and their families. This also stresses the need for employment-related support measures, which in Luxembourg are implemented in a more general integration framework. Thus, most of the support measures that exist for beneficiaries of international protection are not tailored to them in particular, but they are also open to other types of migrants or foreigners living in Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailMIGRATION INTERNATIONALE AU LUXEMBOURG: Système d'observation permanente des migrations OCDE
Nienaber, Birte UL; Jacobs, Sarah UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2016)

Le Luxembourg est une terre d’immigration depuis plus de 50 ans. Situé au cœur de l’Europe, le pays attire aussi bien les citoyens de l’UE que les ressortissants des pays du monde entier. Ces populations ... [more ▼]

Le Luxembourg est une terre d’immigration depuis plus de 50 ans. Situé au cœur de l’Europe, le pays attire aussi bien les citoyens de l’UE que les ressortissants des pays du monde entier. Ces populations jouent un rôle central vis-à-vis de l’économie du pays, et apportent une importante contribution à la croissance de la population et au marché du travail. En 2015, la population du Luxembourg a poursuivi sa croissance stable d’environ 13 000 personnes par an, en augmentation de 2,36 %, passant de 562 958 au 1er janvier 2015 à 576 249 au 1er janvier 2016. Les citoyens étrangers ont continué à jouer un rôle essentiel dans la croissance de la population du Luxembourg, aussi bien en matière d’immigration nette que sur le plan des naissances. L’immigration nette affichait un total de +11 159 personnes en 2015, signifiant un surplus d’arrivées par rapport aux départs. La proportion de citoyens étrangers ressortissants de pays de l’UE était de 76,1 %, les ressortissants de pays tiers représentaient 32,9 %, tandis que la contribution des ressortissants luxembourgeois était négative à -9 %. Le nombre de naissances a enregistré un pic en 2015, égal à celui de 2013, avec 6 115 naissances au total. Les ressortissants étrangers ont contribué à l’accroissement naturel du Luxembourg avec un surplus de 2 150 naissances tandis qu’un déficit de naissances de -18 a été enregistré chez les ressortissants luxembourgeois. 2015 a également été une année record en ce qui concerne les naturalisations. Les Belges ont été les plus nombreux à avoir acquis la nationalité luxembourgeoise en 2015, suivis par les Français et les Portugais. Au 1er janvier 2016, 46,7 % des résidents luxembourgeois étaient étrangers. 34,6 % de la population étrangère totale étaient des Portugais, qui demeuraient la nationalité la plus représentée, suivis par les Français (15,5 %) et les Italiens (7,5 %). Les ressortissants de pays tiers les plus représentés étaient monténégrins. En raison du conflit syrien et de l’afflux de demandeurs de protection internationale qui en a suivi, la population syrienne vivant au Luxembourg a enregistré la plus forte hausse proportionnelle en 2015, avec une croissance de 461,5 % entre janvier 2015 et janvier 2016. En observant le marché du travail au Luxembourg, le rôle central joué par les ressortissants étrangers dans l’économie nationale devient évident. Au premier trimestre 2016, les résidents luxembourgeois représentaient 55 % de la main-d’œuvre salariée du pays. Parmi eux, 27,5 % étaient des ressortissants luxembourgeois, tandis que les ressortissants des Etats membres de l’UE représentaient 24,2 % et les ressortissants de pays tiers 3,3 %. Les travailleurs transfrontaliers venant de France, de Belgique et d’Allemagne représentaient 45 % du total des salariés au Luxembourg. Ils travaillent principalement dans les secteurs manufacturiers, la construction et le commerce. Le secteur HORECA (hôtellerie, restauration et cafés) recrute majoritairement des résidents étrangers. Les ressortissants de pays tiers qui ne bénéficient pas des accords de libre circulation doivent être détenteurs d’un titre de séjour pour pouvoir entrer au Luxembourg. Une augmentation du nombre de premières délivrances de titres de séjour a été enregistrée pour la plupart des catégories par rapport à l’année précédente, où une baisse dans la quasi-totalité des catégories avait été observée. En 2015, les titres de séjour étaient le plus souvent délivrés dans les catégories « Membre de famille », « Travailleur salarié » et « Carte bleue européenne ». L’année 2015 a été marquée par une forte augmentation du nombre de demandes de protection internationale qui a plus que doublé par rapport à 2014 (2 447 demandes en 2015). Malgré une forte augmentation fin 2015, il y a eu un ralentissement de la tendance en 2016. Néanmoins, le nombre de demandes de protection internationale demeure plus élevé qu’en 2013/2014. La plupart des demandes émanaient de ressortissants syriens ou iraquiens, (27,3 % et 22 % respectivement), qui ne représentaient que 9 % et 1 % respectivement en 2014. De plus, les taux de reconnaissance des statuts (statut de réfugié et statut conféré par la protection subsidiaire) et de retour ont augmenté. En 2015, le Luxembourg s’est engagé à accueillir 557 personnes conformément à la décision du Conseil de l’Union européenne visant à relocaliser 160 000 demandeurs de protection internationale venant de Grèce et d’Italie. Ainsi, dans le cadre de cette décision, 114 réfugiés ont été relocalisés depuis la Grèce et 20 réfugiés ont été relocalisés depuis l’Italie avant la mi-août 2016. En outre, 46 réfugiés en provenance de Turquie ont été réinstallés en 2015, suivis de 52 autres réfugiés conformément à l’engagement pris par le Luxembourg d’accueillir 194 réfugiés de Turquie dans le contexte de l’accord conclu en mars 2016 entre l’UE et la Turquie. De plus, 44 Syriens ont été accueillis en 2015 suite à une demande d’assistance émanant des autorités allemandes. Face à un afflux grandissant de demandeurs de protection internationale, un programme d’accueil d’urgence a été développé en 2015. Le programme prévoyait l’établissement de centres de primo-accueil ainsi que le renforcement des ressources humaines de l’Office luxembourgeois de l’accueil et de l’intégration (OLAI) et de la Direction de l’immigration, placée sous l’autorité du Ministère des Affaires étrangères. L’OLAI a également renforcé sa collaboration inter-ministérielle et avec les parties prenantes au niveau local. Un accent a également été mis sur l’intégration, avec des déploiements majeurs, dont la mise en place de projets d’intégration par les municipalités dans le contexte du « Plan d’intégration communal » et avec la création du Centre luxembourgeois pour l’intégration et la cohésion sociale (LISKO), qui soutient les bénéficiaires de protection internationale à s’intégrer dans la société luxembourgeoise. En 2015 et 2016, le Luxembourg a continué à transposer et à mettre en application plusieurs directives de l’UE. La loi du 18 décembre 2015 relative à l’accueil de demandeurs de protection internationale et de protection temporaire transpose la Directive 2013/33/UE (refonte : conditions d’accueil) dans le droit national. La loi du 18 décembre 2015 sur la protection internationale et la protection temporaire transpose la Directive 2013/32/UE (refonte : procédure), établissant les procédures d’octroi et de retrait de la protection internationale et de la protection subsidiaire et la standardisation du contenu de cette protection. Le projet de loi mettant en application la Directive 2013/55/UE sur la reconnaissance des qualifications professionnelles a été déposé à la Chambre des députés en 2015 et le projet de loi mettant en application la Directive 2014/36/UE relative aux travailleurs saisonniers et la Directive 2014/66/UE relative aux titres de séjour des personnes faisant l’objet d’un transfert intragroupe et des investisseurs a été présenté en 2016. En ce qui concerne la transposition de la Directive applicable à la Carte bleue, un décret du gouvernement a été émis le 22 mai 2015 établissant les professions concernées par le seuil salarial inférieur pour l’embauche de travailleurs hautement qualifiés. Au niveau national, plusieurs changements législatifs visent à répondre aux enjeux posés par l’hétérogénéité du Luxembourg. Le projet de loi n 6410 relatif à la jeunesse, déposé à la Chambre des députés le 6 février 2015, permet aux travailleurs transfrontaliers d’accéder au système de chèques-services précédemment réservé aux résidents luxembourgeois. Le projet de loi n 6893 relatif à la reconnaissance des qualifications a été déposé à la Chambre des députés en octobre 2015. Lors du référendum du 7 juin 2015, la proposition visant à étendre le droit de vote aux résidents non luxembourgeois a été rejetée par une vaste majorité, qui considérait l’acquisition de la nationalité comme un moyen plus approprié d’acquérir le droit de vote. Par conséquent, le gouvernement a pris des mesures en vue de réformer la loi sur la nationalité, afin d’assouplir les critères à remplir pour l’acquisition de la nationalité, et ainsi permettre d’élargir la participation aux élections. Le projet de loi n 6977 sur la nationalité a été déposé à la Chambre des députés le 24 mars 2016. Il prévoit de réduire la durée de résidence requise de sept à cinq années et de réintroduire la procédure d’option pour les personnes ayant des liens étroits avec le Luxembourg. Le niveau de maîtrise du luxembourgeois, langue nationale du Grand-Duché, a été au centre des débats sur le projet de loi relatif à la nationalité. Certains craignaient que les exigences linguistiques ne fassent obstacle à l’acquisition de la nationalité par les ressortissants étrangers, tandis que d’autres mettaient en avant la maîtrise de la langue en tant que facteur déterminant d’intégration, et donc d’acquisition de la nationalité.   [less ▲]

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See detailINTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN LUXEMBOURG Continuous Reporting System on Migration OECD
Nienaber, Birte UL; Jacobs, Sarah UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2016)

Luxembourg has been a country of immigration for more than 50 years. Located in the heart of Europe, it holds a strong attraction for EU citizens and nationals from countries all around the world, who ... [more ▼]

Luxembourg has been a country of immigration for more than 50 years. Located in the heart of Europe, it holds a strong attraction for EU citizens and nationals from countries all around the world, who play a central role in the national economy, making an important contribution to the population growth and the labour market. Over the course of 2015, Luxembourg’s population has continued its steady growth of approximately 13.000 people per year, increasing by 2,36%, from 562.958 on 1st January 2015 to 576.249 on 1st January 2016. Foreign citizens have continued to play an essential role in Luxembourg’s population growth, both in terms of net migration and births. The total net migration amounted to +11.159 individuals in 2015, which signifies a surplus of arrivals over departures. Foreign EU citizens accounted for 76,1%; third-country nationals represented 32,9%, while Luxembourgish nationals’ contribution was negative, at -9%. The number of births in 2015 was the highest on record, equal to that in 2013, with 6.115 births in total. Foreigners contributed a birth surplus of 2.150 to Luxembourg’s natural increase, while a birth deficit of -18 was recorded for Luxembourgish nationals. 2015 also marked a record year regarding naturalisations, with Belgians remaining the citizens that obtain citizenship most frequently, followed by the French and the Portuguese. On 1st January 2016, 46,7% of Luxembourg’s residents were foreigners. Representing 34,6% of the total foreign population, Portuguese remained the most represented nationality, followed by France (15,5%) and Italy (7,5%), while the most numerous third-country nationals were Montenegrins. Due to the war in Syria and the influx of applicants for international protection that followed, the Syrian population living in Luxembourg showed the highest proportional increase during 2015, growing by 461,5% from January 2015 to January 2016. A look at Luxembourg’s labour market also reveals the central role that foreigners play in the national economy. In the first quarter of 2016, residents of Luxembourg represented 55% of the country’s salaried workforce. Of these, 27,5% were Luxembourgish nationals, while EU nationals represented 24,2% and third-country nationals 3,3%. Cross-border workers from France, Belgium and Germany represented 45% of all salaried workers in Luxembourg. They mainly work in the manufacturing industries, construction and commerce. A majority of recruitments in the HORECA sector are of foreign residents. Third-country nationals who do not benefit from free movement must be issued with a residence permit in order to enter Luxembourg. An increase in first issues of residence permits was recorded for most categories compared to the preceding year, which had experienced a decrease in almost all categories. In 2015, residence permits were most frequently issued in the “family member”, “salaried worker” and “European Blue Card” categories. 2015 was marked by a significant increase in the number of applications for international protection, which has more than doubled when compared to 2014 (2.447 applications in 2015). While there was a strong increase at the end of 2015, the trend slowed down in 2016. Nonetheless, the number of applications for international protection remains higher than levels in 2013/2014. Most applications were from Syrians and Iraqis (27,3% and 22% respectively), who accounted for only 9% and 1% respectively in 2014. Moreover, both the rate of status recognition (refugee and subsidiary protection status) and of return decision increased. In 2015, Luxembourg pledged to relocate 557 individuals to Luxembourg in the framework of the EU Council decision to relocate 160.000 international protection applicants from Greece and Italy. Within this framework, 114 refugees have been relocated from Greece and 20 from Italy up until mid-August 2016. Furthermore, 46 refugees were resettled from Turkey in 2015, followed by 52 further refugees as a result of Luxembourg’s pledge to resettle 194 refugees from Turkey in the context of the EU-Turkey agreement of March 2016. Additionally, 44 Syrians were welcomed in 2015 following a request for assistance by German authorities. Faced with the increased inflow of applicants for international protection, an emergency reception plan was developed in 2015. The plan included the establishment of first-instance reception centres and the strengthening of the capacity in human resources of both the Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (OLAI) and the Directorate of Immigration, which is under the authority of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The OLAI also strengthened the collaboration with stakeholders at inter-ministerial and local levels. A strong focus has also been put on integration, where major developments include the setting up of integration projects by the municipalities in the context of the ‘Communal Integration Plan’ project and the creation of Luxembourg’s Centre for Integration and Cohesion (LISKO), a service supporting the beneficiaries of international protection in their process of integration in Luxembourgish society. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, Luxembourg continued to transpose and implement several EU directives. The law of 18th December 2015 on the reception of applicants for international protection and temporary protection transposes Directive 2013/33/EU (re-cast reception conditions) into national law. The law of 18th December 2015 on international protection and temporary protection transposed Directive 2013/32/EU (re-cast procedure), establishing the procedures for granting and withdrawing international and subsidiary protection and the standardisation of the content of this protection. The bill implementing Directive 2013/55/EU on the recognition of professional qualifications was introduced into parliament in 2015 and the bill implementing Directive 2014/36/EU on seasonal workers and Directive 2014/66/EU on intra-corporate transferees and investors’ residence permits was introduced in 2016. Regarding the transposition of the Blue Card Directive, a Government Decree was issued on 22nd May 2015 establishing the professions to which the lower salary threshold for hiring highly qualified workers applies. On the national level, a number of legislative changes address some of the challenges set by Luxembourg’s heterogeneity. The bill no. 6410 on youth, introduced into parliament on 6th February 2015, gives cross-border workers access to the care service voucher system which was previously only available to Luxembourgish residents. Bill no. 6893 on the recognition of qualifications was introduced in parliament in October 2015. At the referendum of 7th June 2015, the proposal to extend the right to vote of non-Luxembourgish residents was rejected by a large majority, who argued in favour of the acquisition of nationality as the more appropriate way to acquire the right to vote. Consequently, the government took steps towards reforming the law on nationality in order to soften the requirements for acquisition of nationality, and in this way enable the broadening of participation in elections. Bill no. 6977 on nationality was introduced in parliament on 24th March 2016. It includes the reduction of the required duration of residency from seven to five years and the reintroduction of procedure of option in cases of close links with Luxembourg. The level of fluency in Luxembourgish required has become a central focus of the debate on the bill on nationality, some fearing that linguistic requirements would become an obstacle to foreigners’ acquisition of nationality, others underlining the command of the language as a central factor in integration and thus also in the acquisition of nationality.   [less ▲]

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See detailINTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN LUXEMBOURG: Continuous Reporting System on Migration OECD - Luxembourg
Nienaber, Birte UL; Dionisio, Linda UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL et al

Report (2015)

Migration has always played an important role in Luxembourg’s history. In 2014 and 2015, due to the refugee crisis, migration became the focus of the economic, social and political debates, in particular ... [more ▼]

Migration has always played an important role in Luxembourg’s history. In 2014 and 2015, due to the refugee crisis, migration became the focus of the economic, social and political debates, in particular during Luxembourg’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. As a country that is a founding Member of the European Union and located at the centre of the EU, Luxembourg has a strong attraction for EU citizens and this - in turn - has a direct incidence on the demographic composition of the country and the workforce. Luxembourg’s demographic composition reflects its migratory diversity. In 2014, the net migration balance was positive having increased by 6.8% in comparison to 2013. As such, the country’s rising population numbers were mainly attributed to the immigration of individuals coming from EU Member States and other European countries. These numbers include European Union (EU), European economic area (EEA) citizens and third-country nationals from non-EU European countries. The country’s diversity is equally reflected in its labour market which heavily relies on its foreign workforce. In fact, Luxembourgish citizens represented 31% of the workforce in 2014, while EU citizens reached 65% and third-country nationals only 4%. Cross border workers also represented a very important part of the Luxembourgish workforce with 44.4 %. Due to the refugee crisis, the number of international protection applicants increased between 2013 and 2014. As a consequence, the recognition rate of the status increased as well. On the other hand, the number of returns continued to decrease. In order to respond to the crisis in an adequate manner, additional funds and staff for the Directorate of Immigration and the Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency were allocated. Given the magnitude of the migration crisis and the pressure on external border Member States, the EU Council took the decision to relocate 160.000 international protection applicants (European relocation scheme) who are currently in Greece and in Italy. In order to implement this decision, Luxembourg agreed to welcome 527 international protection applicants. The first group of 30 relocated individuals from Greece arrived in Luxembourg on 4 November 2015. During 2014, Luxembourg implemented several EU directives. Directive 2011/36/EU of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings was implemented by the Law of 9 April 2014, which reinforced the rights of victims of trafficking in human beings by criminalising begging and the trafficking of children. Extensive work was undertaken to transpose Directives 2012/32/EU and 2012/33/EU of the Common European Asylum System. Two draft bills are currently within the last stages of the legislative procedure and their implementation is set to take place in 2015, after several amendments were brought to the draft bills at the end of September and October 2015. On the national level, recent legislative changes and reforms answer to several aims, ranging from attracting certain categories of migrants to strengthening the support provided to unaccompanied minors. The creation of a new authorisation of stay for investors and the modification of certain authorisations of stay to adapt them for business managers are currently under discussion by an inter-ministerial working group, which is preparing two draft bills on these issues. [less ▲]

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See detailDetermining labour shortages and the need for labour migration from third countries in the EU
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Becker, Fabienne UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2015)

Since almost 150 years, Luxembourg depends on two kinds of migration, qualified and non-qualified, in order to deal with the workforce needs of its economy. Compared to the other EU Member States ... [more ▼]

Since almost 150 years, Luxembourg depends on two kinds of migration, qualified and non-qualified, in order to deal with the workforce needs of its economy. Compared to the other EU Member States, Luxembourg is the country with the largest proportion of foreigners; however, this foreign population is mainly composed of EU citizens. Due to its size and geographic position, Luxembourg was able to have access to a very particular form of economic migration: cross-border workers. Globalisation has also played a decisive role in the development of economic migration for the Luxembourgish labour market. The financial centre was obliged to become highly specialised in order to remain competitive in regards to other financial centres and to maintain its volume of business. In order to maintain its competitive advantage, Luxembourg needs highly skilled personnel, which the country has found, up until now, within the Greater Region. This reality is even more pronounced with regards to the labour market: the number of actives (salaried and non-salaried) on 31 March 2014 shows that Luxembourgish nationals represented only 31%, EU citizens 65% and third-country nationals only 4%. Cross-border workers from Belgium, France and Germany represented 42% of the workforce and the resident migrant population (EU citizens and third-country nationals) 28%. Cross-border workers, which consist of skilled and highly skilled labour are substantially attracted for two reasons: 1) more competitive salaries on the Luxemburgish labour market ; and 2) a geographical location which allows the commuting of cross-border workers. The attitude of the successive governments was to adapt immigration to the economic needs of the country. The government policy intends to focus on attracting highly added value activities focussed on new technologies (biomedicine and information as well as communication technologies – focusing on IT security), logistics and research. However, being one of the smallest countries in the European Union, Luxembourg has limited human resources to guarantee the growth not only of the financial sector but also of the new technologies sectors. The government introduced the highly qualified worker residence permit in the bill on free movement of persons and immigration approved by law of 29 August 2008 almost a year before of the enactment of the Blue Card Directive to facilitate the entry of third-country national highly qualified workers. However, this reform was isolated and incomplete and took place without making a real evaluation of the workforce demand of the different sectors of the economy. Even though until now Luxembourg has been relying on the workforce from the Greater Region, for some socio-economic and political stakeholders, highly qualified workforces began to become scarce in the Greater region. In addition to the cross-border workers, the lifting of restrictions to access all the sectors of the labour market for citizens of the new Member States (EU-8) can be considered as a mitigating factor for the need to make an evaluation of the workforce demand, because the high salaries paid in Luxembourg became a real pull factor for the highly qualified workers. As a consequence, the political authorities did not foresee a systematic plan on how to address labour shortages in specific sectors of the economy, because there has not been a significant need for doing so. [less ▲]

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See detailAdmitting third-country nationals for business purposes
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Becker, Fabienne UL; Besch, Sylvain et al

Report (2015)

In Luxembourg, the amended law of 29 August 2008 on free movement of persons and immigration does not provide a definition for immigrant investors or immigrant business owners. A third-country national ... [more ▼]

In Luxembourg, the amended law of 29 August 2008 on free movement of persons and immigration does not provide a definition for immigrant investors or immigrant business owners. A third-country national investor can either receive a residence permit as a self-employed worker or a residence permit for private reasons. Which one of both residence permits the applicant receives is dependent of whether s/he wants to actively work in the company s/he invests in or whether s/he wants to be a passive investor. As the global economic growth is not located anymore in Europe and in the USA but in emerging economies (i.e. BRIC countries), the government is targeting investors and capital also from these countries. An interministerial working group was set up, which prepares two drafts bills to create a legal framework for attracting third-country national investors and business managers in Luxembourg. This working group is composed of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy (General Directorate of Small and Medium-Sized enterpises) and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Directorate of Immigration). [less ▲]

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See detailMIGRANT ACCESS TO SOCIAL SECURITY: POLICIES AND PRACTICE IN LUXEMBOURG
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Besch, Sylvain; Baltes, Christel UL

Report (2014)

The social security system in Luxembourg is in principle a contributory-based system different to other countries, which have a residence-based system. The social protection system is composed of three ... [more ▼]

The social security system in Luxembourg is in principle a contributory-based system different to other countries, which have a residence-based system. The social protection system is composed of three major branches: a) Social security: This branch comprehends healthcare, sick cash benefits, maternity and paternity leave benefits, accidents at work and occupational diseases, long-term care, invalidity benefits, old-age pensions, survivors’ pensions and family allowances. The social security benefits are financed by contributions paid either by the employer, the employee or the State. We include in this branch unemployment because the employee contributes to the system. The only requirements that the beneficiary has to fulfill are the objective criteria for granting each one of the benefits. b) Social assistance system: This branch comprehends the guaranteed minimum income (RMG), which is financed by general taxation and is paid from the general budget of the State. The persons have to prove that they do not have sufficient means to live when their income does not reach a certain threshold. c) Social aid: This is considered the safety net of the system. This aid allows people in need and their families to have a life in dignity. As the social assistance system it is financed by general taxation and in principle any person residing in Luxembourg can benefit from it if s/he fulfills the criteria. This benefit is granted and distributed by the social assistance offices of the municipalities. [less ▲]

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See detailRapport politique sur les migrations et l’asile 2012 - Luxembourg
Baltes, Christel UL; Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Li, Lisa et al

Report (2013)

Le rapport politique sur les migrations et l’asile destiné au Réseau Européen des Migrations donne un aperçu des principaux débats politiques et développements dans ce domaine au Luxembourg au cours de ... [more ▼]

Le rapport politique sur les migrations et l’asile destiné au Réseau Européen des Migrations donne un aperçu des principaux débats politiques et développements dans ce domaine au Luxembourg au cours de l’année 2012. Si plusieurs sujets ont dominé le débat politique général comme la gestion de la crise économique, la réforme du système de pensions, ou encore la réforme du système d’enseignement, ces questions ont été thématisées le plus souvent sans qu’un lien ne soit établi avec la situation démographique particulière du Luxembourg caractérisée d’une part, par une population composée de 43% de non-nationaux et un emploi intérieur dont la maind’oeuvre étrangère, résidente ou transfrontalière, représente 68,5%. Dans ce contexte, trois thématiques ont dominé le débat politique en 2012 - les flux migratoires en relation avec la libre circulation des citoyens de l’Union européenne, l’accueil et l’aide sociale des demandeurs de protection internationale et le débat sur la réforme de la loi sur la nationalité. [less ▲]

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