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Migration in the Mediterranean

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Title: Migration in the Mediterranean


1
Migration in the Mediterranean
  • Venice, 4 December 2008
  • Jesmond Xuereb

2
Migration in the Mediterranean
Venice, 4 December 2008 Jesmond Xuereb
3
Introduction
  • Immigration and Emigration in general
  • Migration in Europe
  • Migration in the Med
  • The Maltese context
  • EU initiatives and operations in the Med
  • Issues to be tackled
  • Conclusions

4
Migration in Europe and the world
  • 200 million international migrants worldwide
    almost 3 of world population with half being
    women (UN statistics)
  • Almost half the world population (mostly in
    Africa) lives with less than 1/day
  • Europe from emigration to immigration
  • 64 million immigrants in Europe (53m in Asia, 51m
    in N. America)

5
Why do people migrate?
  • Migration is a global phenomenon which is
    becoming a priority issue on the political and
    social agenda of the EU. Migratory flows are no
    longer limited to traditional routes with
    specific countries of origin, transit and
    destination. Poor socio-economic conditions in
    countries of origin make people decide to leave.
  • Reasons for migration may be
  • Political political and social instability,
    war and civil strife, human rights abuse,
    repression and persecution, ethnic cleansing
  • Economic gaps between developed and developing
    countries, increasing workforce mobility
  • Demographic population growth issues, declining
    birth rates
  • Environmental natural disasters, ecological
    degradation, climate change
  • Push factors poor economic conditions
    (unemployment...), armed conflicts, human rights
    abuses, discrimination, overpopulation, natural
    catastrophes
  • Pull factors mainly social and economic
    welfare of countries of destination

6
Regular and irregular immigration
  • Freedom of movement and worker mobility in the EU
  • Illegal and irregular immigration
  • Border control systems are not enough to stop
    illegal immigration
  • Need for duly regulated immigration channels
  • Countries will compete for skilled and qualified
    workers

7
Immigration in Europe
  • Major migratory flows towards Europe from
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Central Asia
  • Eastern Europe

8
Migration in Europe
  • A typical (irregular) immigrant
  • Migrates to look for work opportunities
  • legal entries that become irregular with
    unauthorized work and overstaying visas
  • Migrants are typically active citizens, mostly
    young people
  • Migration occurs partly through informal networks
    (like family reunion) and partly through
    organized groups that dedicate themselves to the
    smuggling and trafficking of human beings

9
Migratory routes in the Med
10
Immigration the Maltese context
Total number of boat people arriving ashore rose
from 24 in 2000 to over 1500 up to September 2008
11
Immigration Maltese Context
  • "Relatively speaking, 967 illegal immigrants in
    Malta translate into the arrival of 135,380 in
    Italy, 145,050 in France, 96,700 in Spain and
    198,235 in Germany. This is the magnitude of the
    problem of illegal immigration in Malta where the
    population density is 1,200 per square
    kilometre. Michael Frendo, former Minister of
    Foreign Affairs, July 2006

12
Legal situation
  • Irregular immigrants are taken to detention
    centres where they may be kept for a maximum of
    18 months.
  • In the meantime, they may apply for refugee
    status if they can prove that they left their
    country of origin to escape persecution or
    life-threatening situations.
  • If they do not qualify for refugee status, they
    may be granted humanitarian protection. In these
    cases, they are released from detention and they
    often go to the Open Centres, run by Government
    or NGOs. Conditions here are very poor due to
    overcrowding.

13
Immigration The Maltese Context
  • Around 45 of immigrants landed in Malta have
    been granted refugee (5) or protected
    humanitarian status (40).

14
Year Refugee Status Human. Protection Rejected Total
2002 22 (5.3) 111 (26.5) 268 (68.3) 419
2003 53 (9.3) 328 (57.7) 187 (32.9) 568
2004 49 (5.6) 560 (64.5) 259 (29.8) 868
2005 36 (3.3) 510 (46.3) 556 (50.5) 1,102
May 2006 12 (2.1) 272 (47.1) 293 (50.8) 577
15
FRONTEX The EUs External Borders Management
Agency
  • Based in Warsaw, FRONTEX intends to reinforce
    border security, assuring the coordination of
    Member-states actions on applying communitarian
    measures of external borders management
  • It coordinates operational cooperation between
    Member-states in the field of external borders
    management, supporting them in the training of
    national border officers
  • It endeavors risk analysis
  • It trails the evolution of relevant investigation
    in the field of surveillance and control of
    external borders
  • It follows up the development of research
    relevant for the control and surveillance of
    external borders
  • Assists Members States in circumstances requiring
    increased technical and operational assistance at
    external borders
  • Provides Member States with the necessary support
    in in organizing joint return operations
  • It also cooperates with third countries border
    security authorities, in line with general EU
    external policy.

16
Operations by FRONTEX
  • Joint operations launched in 2006, in the Med
  • CANARY ISLANDS HERA
  • EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN - POSEIDON (took place in
    the Eastern Mediterranean Sea area and on the
    Greek Turkish land border)
  • CENTRAL MEDITERRANEAN NAUTILUS (Malta)

17
Observations
  • Destination countries benefit from migration for
    it has a positive impact both on the overcoming
    of national shortages on the labour market and
    also by increasing the active population volume.
  • Over 70 of demographic growth of the last
    decade, in the 27 EU Member States, is due to
    migration.
  • Population ageing constitutes a significant
    European problem we need to find ways of making
    up for the the decline of the active population.
  • Estimates indicate that in 2031, around a half of
    the European territory will have 30 of
    non-active population.

18
Issues to be tackled
  • Citizenship policies
  • Fight against terrorism and organized crime
  • Common asylum policy
  • Migration management
  • Integration
  • Security and comprehensive management of external
    borders
  • Cooperation with countries of origin and transit
  • Aid programmes for developing countries

19
Conclusions
  • A balance between open door and zero
    immigration policies is needed. Controlled
    migration benefits (1) countries of origin, (2)
    countries of destination and (3) immigrants
    themselves.
  • Controlled migration enhances the respect for
    immigrants rights and reinforces the fight
    against illegal immigration, terrorism and
    trafficking in human beings it helps to
    maintain internal security and to properly manage
    social perceptions on immigrants in the receiving
    countries.
  • Regularizing the position of immigrants to
    decrease illegal work lessens the possibility of
    exploitation and xenophobia, and it benefits the
    economy.

20
Conclusions (cont.)
  • The EU Member States need to intensify economic
    cooperation and to develop trade and
    co-development, including conflict prevention, to
    reduce the root causes of migration.
  • There needs to be more cooperation with origin
    and transit countries, in terms of joint
    management, border control and readmission
    issues.
  • The Hague Programme of 2004 was an important step
    by the EU in this field. It promotes the
    implementation of a space of freedom, security
    and justice - the main priority of the EU. The
    Hague Programme also set up a number of priority
    actions to be pursued during the period between
    2004/2009. It provided the necessary linkage
    between migration and development.
  • This year, another important development took
    place just a couple of months ago. This
    follows the principle of solidarity, that is one
    of the basic principles of the EU, as Member
    States may now agree to take in a number of
    immigrants from the border states that have the
    highest concentrations.
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