Hungary is a great example. While the country has border patrols at its Serbian borders, nearly 60% of companies mention experiencing difficulties with recruiting workers, given the declining population and a dependency ratio on the labour force of nearly 47%.
However, this may often be seen as a short to medium term solution. While immigration results in a larger labour force and an upsurge in the number of consumers, fertility rates tend to fall sharply and evolve towards the national average by the second generation of immigrants.
Migration flows are expected to rise due to mounting inequalities and climate change. Faced with an ever-widening gap between how migration is perceived and its actual impact, it is essential to assess a country’s openness to immigration and its capacity for integrating these newcomers. Granting of asylum status, integration of immigrants on the labour market, and dependence on repatriated income are all indicators that enable assessment of potential impact from several different points of view.
Despite the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 having elicited a staunch philosophy of ‘never again a wall’, a quarantine has begun, or rather is underway, across the globe, for instance between the United States and Mexico, but also between Serbia and Hungary, Finland and Russia, and between India and Bangladesh. Keeping an open mind toward this issue, rather than retreating to the refuge of national identity, is likely to remain the best answer available.