20th March 2014: Yesterday afternoon at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons made the following contribution in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) during a hearing on the Stockholm Programme on Home Affairs.
"The Commission’s Europe 2020 document said that the EU was fortunate to have a talented and creative population. Indeed a disproportionate contribution to world civilisation has come from our continent.
"Why then do we need to attract talented people from other countries and continents as you suggested?
"Indeed, if we are talking about attracting specialist labour from poor countries, is it ethical to do so?
"Some will remember the visit to the European Parliament four years ago of the former President of Mali, Mr Amadou Toure. He said that about a third of medical workers and nearly 40% of graduates had emigrated to work overseas.
"Countries that are poor, in every sense of that word, cannot afford to lose their precious pool of talented workers. Or is saving our money on education and training more important than saving lives in poor countries."
Commissioner Malmstrom said that we did indeed need to attract talented workers and she specified engineers. She did not explain why we could not educate and train them ourselves.
She claimed that people recruited from poor countries eventually returned to them.