Assessing Labour Migration Policies From the Incorporation Perspective. The Case of Romania


  • Bogdan FLORIAN National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania
  • Oana-Andreea ION National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, Romania;
  • Mircea MOCANU International Organization for Migration, Romanian office;


Migrants play an important role in shaping today’s EU, both in terms of the labour market, and society as a whole. The analyses of the migration policies, including the labour sector, are generally focused on the control and, respectively, on the security dimension, while a third branch includes the researches on the broader term of incorporation of migrants into the fabric of the host societies. This paper starts from the questions “why does the EU labour market need migrants?” and “what role can migrants play in community development?”, and it argues that using an incorporation approach in public policies concerning migrants could provide a theoretical and actional solution to overcome challenges posed by various other policy and political positions aimed against migrants. An assessment of labour-connected incorporation policies and practices is presented as a study case, using evidence-based policies and practices from Romania. The main findings of the paper indicate that there is a huge gap between stated aims of written strategies, actions being implemented and the perception of intended target groups. The article argues that this deviation is due, at least in the case of Romania, to a weak administrative capacity to manage migrant flows and the challenges they bring to traditional and rigid legal and administrative systems. The gap is also due to poor operationalisation of the concept of incorporation in policy practice, with contradictory simultaneously policy narratives of adaptation, assimilation, inclusion, or integration, and without a clear goal that should shape a national labour migration policy.