(16 September 2015) – European nations overwhelmed by the biggest refugee crisis since World War II may end up boosting their economies if they just let the migrants in, analysts say.
More than 430,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year. Nearly 2,750 have died, and more arrive every day, many fleeing war zones in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The challenge has left the European Union scrambling for answers, with member nations disagreeing Monday over a proposal to share out 120,000 refugees and ease the burden on frontline states.
But beyond the immediate logistical challenges and predominant humanitarian concerns, the economic impact of the tide of refugees moving to Europe is slight, and may well be positive, analysts say.
Welcoming refugees offers Europe the chance “not only to honour its position as a democratic Union that is wealthy and respectful of tradition, but also to expand its growth prospects,” Patrick Artus, economist at French investment bank Natixis, said in a recent report.
Holger Schmieding, economist at the German investment bank Berenberg, estimated that the arrival of refugees could boost economic output in the eurozone by 0.2 percent as of the second half of 2015. (EurActiv)