On May 31, 2016, the Brussels office of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) invited the members of its Young Transatlantic Network (YTN) for a discussion on jobs, growth, and investment in the Atlantic space. Speakers included Julie Bleeker, consultant for the Private Investors for Africa (PIA), Jan-Martin Frie, analyst for the economics team of the European Commission, Chiara Monti, policy assistant at the European Commission’s Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion department, and Eustace T. Wallace, counsellor at the High Commission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Court of St. James. The discussion was moderated by Danielle Piatkiewicz, GMF’s program assistant for the Wider Atlantic program.
The discussants offered a very interesting and diverse range of approaches to questions regarding jobs, growth, and investment in the Atlantic space, linking them to the impact of migration – both intra and extra regional – as a potential positive growth stimulus for European countries. The importance of public-private partnerships was highlighted in order to provide for a comprehensive solution to migration and common employment challenges that can be found in the framework within the Sustainable Development Goals. The question of migration, intra-European brain drain, and the refugee crisis, are common challenges and within the Atlantic space and can be avenues for further cooperation.
While it was mentioned that Europe still has an economic competitive edge, a majority of global growth comes from Asia, which has a direct impact in the Atlantic space as it continues to invest in the region.
The group concluded that for the growing issues of skill disparity, labour shortages and lack of regional and international investment to be overcome in the Atlantic space, countries should advocate for more cooperation across sectors to incentivize a better circulation of human capital. The realization of the full employment and growth potential of the Atlantic space is within reach of the youth, and migration has to be part of the solution.