This Working Paper looks into the role of immigrant labour in meeting the needs of European care (in particularly for children and the elderly). Immigrant labour has an ever-growing share of the care work sector in Europe, on which not only individuals but also national welfares increasingly rely. Using qualitative data supported by national and international descriptive statistics, the paper draws on the cases of four EU member states (Italy, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom) and Ukraine to see how different mixtures of state - and market - based policies shape national care regimes, and how the particular configurations of care and migration regimes sustain and reproduce transnational care chains with inequalities inherent in them. Our findings indicate that across the EU, the care sector lacks structural reform that would transform it into a sector of dignified work and career opportunities. Instead, national policies often reflect the path of least resistance, i.e. ignoring rising demand for care, continuing structural shrinking of formal care, and turning to monetary subsidies and underpaid immigrant labour. This reflects the market pressure for cheap labour rather than long-term thinking along the lines of the socio-ecological transition, the reduction of gender inequalities in employment and the opening up of the sector for employment of vulnerable groups. In the emerging state - and market - based mix, state policies seek to regulate migration flows that meet market demand for cheap labour.