The GATS and temporary migration policy

Rafael Leal-Arcas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction: This chapter addresses the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in relation to temporary migration policy. It is argued that Mode 4 of the GATS remains essentially subject to strict domestic regulations and limitations. Yet, many countries accept the importance of temporary migration as a necessary element to become more competitive in a knowledge-based society. In the European Union (EU), for example, a new global approach is needed so that migration strikes the right balance amidst the risk of labour market shortages, economic impacts, negative social consequences, integration policies and external policy objectives. Moreover, the changing demands of an ageing society and a labour market in constant evolution have challenged established assumptions about migration from outside the EU. Therefore, it is argued that the EU needs more temporary migration from an economic point of view, The movement of people has increased markedly in recent decades, with international migration doubling since 1975. However, migration patterns today are very different from those in previous cycles of globalisation. Temporary migration, which is often work-related, has increased across the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries over the past two decades, and migration of highly-skilled people has also become much more common. As competitiveness is increasingly shaped by a country's ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce, competition among countries for highly-skilled workers is likely to continue to increase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Economic Law and National Autonomy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780511760471
ISBN (Print)9780521114608
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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