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Three million migrants expected in Europe by 2017

05 November 2015, 14:59

Brussels - Three million migrants are expected to arrive in Europe by 2017 as they flee war and poverty in Syria and other conflict zones, with a small positive impact on the EU economy likely, the EU's executive arm said on Thursday.

"Overall, an additional three million persons is assumed to arrive in the EU over the forecast period," the European Commission's economic forecast for 2015-2017 said.

It predicted that there would be one million arrivals in total during 2015, 1.5 million in 2016 and half a million in 2017, adding that it would represent an increase in the EU's population of around 0.4 percent once unsuccessful asylum applications were taken into account.

European Union economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that the migrants could help boost the EU economy, helping the moderate recovery predicted in the eurozone during that period.

"There will be an impact on growth that is weak but positive for the EU as a whole, and that will increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 0.2 to 0.3 percent by 2017," Moscovici said.

"That will combat a certain number of received ideas and backs the politics of President (Jean-Claude Juncker)," who has pushed for the EU to do more to help migrants, Moscovici added.

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