Friday, November 28, 2014

Convergence is the new cricket

From David Cameron's big migration speech --

So we will insist that when new countries are admitted to the EU in the future, free movement will not apply to those new members until their economies have converged much more closely with existing Member States.

Among the reasons this is tricky is that migration is itself one of the ways that poorer European countries converge to the existing member states.  It also means that the UK will have a convergence test for EU accession migration just as it has the (vindicated) Five Tests for euro membership. Can the EU retain its core objective if the big countries start putting more and more tests on the mechanisms which are meant to make the countries more like each other?

UPDATE: Very good UK immigration background from Kenan Malik in the New York Times; interestingly, Cameron's speech (not directly referenced by Malik) seems tailored precisely to the kind of polling evidence that Malik discusses.