Ukraine becomes the largest supplier of cheap manpower to EU

Author : Oleksandr Okhrymenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

After establishing a visa-free regime, 5-7 mln Ukrainians of working age might leave to the EU countries
09:49, 22 December 2015

Unfortunately, Ukraine’s labor market is experiencing hard times. After the National Bank has closed a massive amount of banks, a large number of legal entities went bankrupt or moved to the stage of "strafing". According to official figures, about 2.5 mln Ukrainians have lost their jobs over the past two years. Regrettably, this tendency is rapidly strengthening. In the context of a trade war with Russia, Ukraine is expected to face the mass closure of business in the next two or three years. The experts predict closing of a large number of engineering plants and chemical facilities, as well as part of the metallurgical enterprises and food services. As a result, it may translate into small and medium-sized businesses collapse.

At this time, bazaars and retail outlets suffer from the lack of buyers, but in the future, situation might be even worse, when most of the Ukrainian large enterprises and small businesses do not provide enough jobs with a good salary. Most likely, there might stay only two economical categories in Ukraine: agriculture and metallurgy. Even the service sector will be forced to urgently cut down its work. Although the new Internet technologies enabled creation of innovative products, they do not know where to find buyers with money.

Many Ukrainians are not dealing with a dilemma of going abroad for work. They just know for sure that there is no job in Ukraine. Finding a job in another country was the last hope for many Ukrainian families.

Related: European Commission to approve visa-free regime for Ukraine, - Hahn

Not surprisingly, many Ukrainians are looking forward to the establishment of visa-free regime, as they believe that it will facilitate their chances to be employed in the EU. The trouble is that many people just do not realize that the visa-free regime will be introduced only for tourists. With regard to work and study in the EU, the visas will be still required.

Visa-free system obliges to have a biometric passport, and the Border Service of the EU may ask to show the tickets, booked apartments in a hotel and, certainly, proof of solvency. The traveler should provide the strong evidence of the purpose of his trip – tourism, otherwise, he will be denied to enter the Schengen area. Those deported from for violating the visa rules, will not be able to enter the EU once again, as their fingerprints will be included in the list of "persona non grata".

Related: European Commission welcomed the implementation of Ukraine action plan on visa-free regime

It is not a secret that even these precautions cannot save from the influx of illegal labor immigrants. For many Ukrainians work in the EU seems to be the last hope, and they will take all the risks to get it. After Ukraine signs a visa-free regime, 5-7 mln of population of working age might leave to the EU in the next ten years.

Currently the average salary in Ukraine is about EUR 180, and it might grow to EUR 200-220 during the next ten years. At the same time, in the EU it is possible to get EUR 300-500 monthly salary. Thus, in addition to producing grain and metal, Ukraine becomes the largest supplier of cheap labor. What is also important, saving on salaries will enable European business to survive in the tough competition with the U.S. European politicians simply cannot hold with legal labor migration from Ukraine because of some geopolitical considerations. Nevertheless, Ukrainians themselves overcome these geopolitical considerations.

Related: EU delayed consideration of visa-free regime as Ukraine failed to adopt laws

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