The European Union it is experiencing a wave of immigration?

Since the beginning of the year, the city of Calais (France) is facing a massive influx of illegal migrants causing a situation of high tension. Within months, their number increased from 800 to 3000. For those migrants who come mainly from Africa, Afghanistan and Syria, France is, however, a step in their journey as all want to join England their “Eldorado”. Why? Because England accepts twice as many asylum seekers, but also because the possibility of finding a job is higher. As Lampedusa, Ceuta or Patras represent gateways to the Schengen area, Calais is the exit door since it is located just 30km from the English coast.

Thus, Calais represents only one example amongst many others, as Italy or Spain (Melilla) are also faced with the disastrous situation in which hundreds of migrants trying to cross the border every day, making overstretched humanitarian organizations and governments powerless. The tragedy does not stop there, since many illegal fail to losing their dream life on their journey despite the introduction of successive plans as “Mare Nostrum” and “Frontex“.

Globalisation encourages workers and their families to cross borders in search of employment and security”. Then, Globalisation has created economic interdependence between states such as liberalization and expansion of trade and the development of means of transport. As populations become and migration meet its openings borders?

We are now facing a turning point in the political and economic history of Europe since experiencing an explosion in the migration process. And several legitimate questions arise such as the abolition of Schengen Europe ? The UK is not part of the Schengen Area and is not yet untouched by the expansion of these migration flows.

It seems to me that the heart of the problem lies in the inaction of the European Union in the face of these new migration flows. Currently, the European Union has not developed any real common immigration policy leaving countries like Italy, Spain or Greece left to themselves, without specifying that all countries accuse each other of being responsible for this situation. The European Union should quickly implement a common asylum policy to address this dissonance: “Political debates about immigration policy have been rising in volume and intensity in recent years in almost all Western countries” (John Ravenhill, ‘Global Political Economy‘)

Immigration03

However, the EU remaining inactive is not responsible for much of the increase in illegal flows. From my point of view, the current situation is due to several factors: The first factor is the demographic boom Africa is experiencing (the population in a few years will be multiplied by three). The second factor is the explosion on the geopolitical map of the whole Mediterranean basin. The Arab revolutions have led to unstable areas and thus wars. The strict regime of Muammar Gaddafi for example controlled and operated some regulation in migratory flows. Then, the last point is that they leave our countries to find a job and a better life.

Consequently, given this new era in world history, the European Union must quickly take steps to remedy the interference of these states facing massive migration flows that create climates of extreme tension along with an increase in crime, illegal trafficking and enriching smugglers. Finally, should we really talk about illegal labour migrants? In some cases, would it not be more appropriate to use the term “political refugees”?

Pauline PEREZ

  • John RavenhillGlobal Political Economy’- 2011 p 102-103
  • Jon C., Ghosheh Naj- 2010 “Offshoring and working conditions in remote work”
  •  Anderson James, Shuttleworth Ian: “A new spatial fix for Capitalist crisis ? Immigrant labour, State Borders ans the New Ostracising Imperialism” -2004
  • Helma Lutz: “Migration and domestic work: a European perspective on a global theme” 
  • Georg Menz, Alexander Caviedes– 2010: « Labour migration in Europe »
  • Catherine Dauvergne: “Making people illegal: What globalization means for migration and law” Cambridge University Press- 2009

  • Article of the Guardian : Friday 5 september 2014- Hugh Muir- « The migrant crisis in Calais show the EU’s failure to see the big picture” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/05/migrant-crisis-calais-eu-europe
  • Article of The Guardian : Sunday 10 august 2014- Mark Townsend – « Inside the Calais makeshift migrant camps » http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/10/inside-calais-migrants-makeshift-camps
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