Published on 10th August 2019 by

Does Europe make a profit from migrants? Why is Europe so attractive, and how are migrants experiencing their new life in Europe? How is work and life in Europe for migrants from the south?

Now that youth unemployment in the Mediterranean countries is two to four times as high as in the Netherlands, young southerners are increasingly attracted to northern Europe. Director Sabine Lubbe Bakker followed Spanish nurses and Portuguese welders on their trip to the Netherlands and filmed the working and living of newly arrived Italians and Greeks. How do the South Europeans experience their new life in our country, and what do we learn about ourselves along the way?

Last March, the Cabinet announced that in the Netherlands there is a shortage of approximately 150,000 technology students. And the same number as deficits we also encounter here and there as regards nurses and elderly carers who will be needed in our country by 2020. How logical is it to give away our unfulfilled vacancies to young South Europeans who are jobless and who have to apply for Spanish or Greek jobs, where sometimes some other 1200 candidates apply?

Political economist Philippe Legrain (adviser to EU President Barroso) also sees it as a win-win situation. The northern countries will need immigrants in the coming decades, so why don’t we let them come from the countries we know so well already from our holidays?
But putting it into practice does not happen so quickly. Especially when it comes to working, we do not want to do anymore. Ana is an elderly caretaker who traded the sunny city of Alicante for the rainy city of Son en Breugel. The Portuguese welders Bruno and Sandro go back disappointed as they see the housing that is proposed to them.

Italian Simone at ASML and a group of Greek scaffolder builders in the Eemshaven are pleased to be part of the technical support of our top sectors. And us? Let’s have a look at ourselves through the eyes of the young immigrants and listen to our grand language skills, see our warm welcome for these guest workers 2.0, and most of all: our timeless Dutch talent to manage to make a profit out of anything.

Original title: Hotel Europe, go with the workflow

Director: Sabine Lubbe Bakker
Research: William de Bruijn
Production: Helen Goossens
Editors: Henneke Hagen and Frank Wiering

Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2013.
© VPRO Backlight April 2013

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