Mediterranean Migrations: Regionalisms Versus Globalisation
ResumoThis paper challenges the claim of globalisation as a cause ofimmigration into Southern Europe and, on an empirical basis, identifies regionalisation as being the primary issue, along with networked migratory patterns. However, the changing patterns of immigration do present challenges to both state and society. It is argued here that recent policy responses in Portugal, Italy and Spain have been inconsistent and irrational – reflecting more the ‘securitisation’ of migration than European reality. Earlier policy innovations are identified, by country and date: most of these have now been abandoned. It is suggested that all of Southern Europe has converged onto a statist, restrictionist model of immigration control that was formerly held only by Greece. The principal characteristics of this model are outlined, along with a migration flowchart and indicative data for migrant flows and sub-flows in Italy and Spain. In the final section, I try to show that the needs of the economy cannot be predicted, immigration cannot becontrolled in the manner currently being enforced across Southern Europe, and attempts to do so will damage rather than improve economic productivity and growth. The concept of an accomodating immigration policy is advanced, whereby the state tries to manage the needs of both employers and potential migrants. Six guidelines for policy development are suggested – most of which have alreadybeen successfully carried out in the European Union. These are the following: migration in order to find a job; circular cross-border migration; EU level negotiation of readmission agreements; the need for a variety of migration-for-employment schemes; legal residence should not depend upon continuity of employment; and discreet legalisation will still be needed in Southern Europe.
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