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Een OPEC voor migrantenarbeid?

DUBAI – In september 1960 kwamen gedelegeerden uit Iran, Irak, Koeweit, Saoedi-Arabië en Venezuela in Baghdad bijeen om de Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Organisatie van Olie-Exporterende Landen, kortweg OPEC) te vormen. Omdat de wereld steeds afhankelijker werd van olie, nam de macht van de OPEC navenant toe. Zou het vandaag de dag, nu veel ontwikkelingslanden - waaronder een meerderheid van de landen in het Midden-Oosten - dienst doen als de voornaamste exporteurs van arbeid, geen goed idee zijn om de vorming van een OPEC-achtig kartel voor migrantenarbeid te overwegen?

De OPEC is erin geslaagd de gedeelde belangen van haar leden te beschermen, die op individuele basis niet beschermd konden worden. Als een markt structureel ontwricht is, kunnen politieke instrumenten en collectieve actie van het type dat de OPEC belichaamde effectiever blijken dan publiek beleid.

De arbeids-exporterende landen van vandaag verschillen niet zoveel van de staten die in 1960 de OPEC oprichtten. Ook zij zijn kwetsbaar op een markt waarop hun klanten de dienst uitmaken. Rijke arbeids-importerende landen en arme arbeids-exporterende landen hebben een wederzijds afhankelijke relatie; maar arbeids-importeurs kunnen eenzijdig de immigratie- of arbeidsmarktbepalingen strenger of soepeler maken, waardoor exporteurs in een voortdurende staat van onzekerheid verkeren.

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