The Politics of Migration in Europe

In European history, immigration actually had a deep root. The history is complex with egards to the types of and status of migrant groups. In 19th and 20th centuries, industrialization in Europe caused the relocation of most of these immigrants. The transformation from small, agriculture-based societies to manufacturing economies was so rapid and sweeping that it became known as the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution began in England in the late 18th century and gradually spread across Europe. During the mid-19th century, the Industrial Revolution swept across France, Belgium, and the German states. In each of these areas the economic and social changes accompanying rapid industrialization led to a huge exodus of people. People from rapidly transforming rural areas were driven to new industrial production sites in growing cities. Many among the impoverished and the deprived, but also among the wealthy, chose to migrate to the new immigration countries outside Europe.

Immigration in Europe Today
Europe today has an increased number of immigrants. It is an indication that Europe’s importance as a region of destination will increase in the future. European countries also recruit migrants to fill the labor and skills shortages that are predicted to rise in the coming decades.
Immigrant small business is an important area of the economy, especially for certain niches. The origin of immigrant business is related, to some extent, to the exclusion of immigrants from employment structures and the danger of unemployment. In most European countries, various opportunities exist for immigrants to establish and develop small businesses, for example, the existence of Diaspora network capital and family labour, as well as access to products and customers due to the changing attitudes towards cultural diversity and consumption.
Immigrants also became increasingly important consumer groups in the European economies. Immigrant consumer activities can be measured as a growing contribution to economic development, especially with regards to changes in the production of consumer goods and the development of new patterns of consumption.

European Union and Immigrants
In the 1980's there is a new kind of migrants like asylum seekers. Europe responds by a new policy like expanded the Visa regime. Countries that were constitute a substantial source of migration and asylum seeking will subject citizens visiting the country to a visa requirement.
Immigration and asylum were not originally within the scope of European institutions. The basis for the treatment of these questions in Europe was established between 1986 and 1992. In the Community, the objective of creating an unified market favored the consideration of immigration as a question that should be tackled at a European level: the signing of the European Single Act in 1986, which included a program for harmonizing immigration policy, favored the development of closer cooperation between Member States. The governments of France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg had already signed on June 14, 1985, the Schengen Treaty. From a functional point of view, on the other hand, the agreement was closely related to the community objective: it attempted to reinforce police and judicial cooperation among those states, with the objective of doing away with internal borders and reinforcing external borders. Its Application Agreement was signed on June 19, 1990, and it was enforced on March 26, 1995.
European Union policy towards immigration is clearly restrictive. The tragedy of Dover in 2000 highlighted the undesirable and perverse effects of restrictive laws. Clandestine migratory flows have not disappeared and because of this condition, it becomes necessary to periodically implement regularization processes.
The European Commission is the European institution that acts as a catalyst in the making process of immigration and asylum policies. The European Commission current proposals also concerning about the principles that should govern a common policy in the presence of the migratory phenomenon are being considered. As to legal immigration, the Commission has presented several initiatives like family reunification, in December 1999; the concession of long-term duration permits for those who have resided legally for more than 5 years, in March 2001; the joint administration of inflows of immigrants that would include only one permit for both residency and work for temporary emigrants, in July 2001.
In order to confront illegal immigration, four proposals are on the waiting list. First, a communication on a common policy for questions concerning clandestine immigration, in November 2001. Second, a directive for temporary permits for stays to irregular immigrants who cooperate with the law, in November 2001. Third is a Green Paper policy containing norms to compel illegal immigrants to return to their homelands, in April 2002. If the third proposals were to be carried out, it would affect more than three million persons. The last is a proposal concerning the integrated administration of EU borders with the creation of a ‘European Border Police Force’, especially for the coasts. Two other initiatives concerning asylum are also blocked at the moment: one concerning common criteria to apply the Geneva Convention to applicants, and another concern procedures to apply them.

Immigration has changed European societies have dramatically in the last decades. The immigrants have played a major role, especially in the transformation of European economies. Consumer patterns have changed due to the impact of immigrants. Welfare systems also have been extended to immigrant groups. Immigrant employment patterns and entrepreneurship activities have developed rather quickly. Social life and worldview formations have changed in Europe through immigration as well. In the future, there is a high possibility that European governments will make easier policies for immigrants. This is an effect from European low birth rates. Today, European countries are facing this kind of problem and need young people to replace the older generations.

Anonim. 2006. Impact of Immigration on Europe’s Societies. Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security.
Dearden, Stephen J.H. Immigration Policy in the European Community.

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