“Eastern European immigrants add far more to the UK economy than they take out and should not face restrictions on their movements”, foreign ministers from EU accession said adding that they are “economically more active” and “boosting the UK economy”
Immigration from East and South of Europe has long been a subject of a discussion. Nevertheless, it usually is dominated by the economic point of view missing out equally important aspect of its influence – cultural, societal and educational impact it has on everyday life and its power on creating intellectually and culturally attractive societies.
According to ONS, recent reports indicate 713,000 Eastern Europeans and 200,000 Southern Europeans living in the UK, 32% out of which has been in the country for over 8 years (2013). It is worth noting that major part of this inflow is made up by young generations whose arrival is not linked to seeking employment only. Over 33% of university places are take up by immigrants, giving them fifth of the professional jobs in aerospace, optical engineering and other industries required high qualifications and skills. Their role in changing the society is still however diminished. Ambition-driven newcomers who decided to settle in UK are well educated, open-minded, able to adapt quickly and attractive to high profile employers. Thinking globally, they migrate to seek development, broaden their horizons, enrich mutual experiences as well as to integrate with other communities and bring their characteristic national flavour. Bringing out the essence of other European cultures makes the UK truly integrated market full of inspirational, enterprising qualities pumping its liveliness and vibrancy into creative industries.
After all, what would be the quality of Italian or Spanish restaurants without those who know most about their local cuisine? Or who could be the best foreign language teacher if not a foreigner with matching qualifications? Representation of ethnic communities without acknowledging their participation in every aspect of life will never result in blurring the line between the immigrant and resident status.