Database of Document
And if we tell… A story of immigration in Belgium.
(Et si on racontait… Une histoire de l’immigration en Belgique.)
Marco Martiniello and Andrea Rea
2001, Brussels (Belgium)
History of immigration in Belgium since the 19th century :
- Immigration before 1945.
- The needs for secondary workforce in the post-war years : especially, call for Italian workforce against coal sold to Italy. Agreement signed in 1946 between Belgium and Italy. Important migration flux until the stop with the catastrophe of Marcinelle in 1956, in which 136 Italians died.
- The demographic imperatives : in the sixties, faced with the ageing of the population, the authorities will give a repopulation and rejuvenation function to immigration. Setting up notably of a family reunification policy.
- The migration laissez-faire policy : non-application of the law organizing the Police for Foreigners when there is a strong claim for workforce.
- The European construction : from 1968 on, application of the dispositions of the Treaty of Rome imposing the free circulation of workers from countries members of the EU, which Italy is part of. The immigrants who are community nationals don’t need a visa anymore to cross the borders for linguistic stays or a work licence to have an access to a paid activity.
- The closure of borders :
* In 1967, new work law organizing the granting of the work licence, in order to regulate the entry of immigrants.
* In 1969, economical recession and increase of the unemployment rate, the Belgian government imposes restrictions in the granting of new work licences.
* August 1st 1974 : official immigration stop.
- Immigration in Belgium from 1974 to the present day : in spite of the official discourse on the immigration stop, there is no hermetic closure of the borders. The migration flux goes on but with differences in its extent, in the migration forms and in the origins of the migrants.
The integration of the immigrants in the Belgian society:
- The integration of the immigrants.
- The « immigrant problem » : repartition and origin of the immigrant populations, integration and image problems, reactions of the Belgian society (notably in a time of economical crisis), social and cultural problems. Integration policies developed by the Belgian authorities.
A brochure of limited size (19 pages) but that broaches three important aspects of immigration in Belgium :
- The historical evolution.
- The policies lead by the Belgian authorities
- The integration and image problems of immigration among the Belgian population.
For Belgian teachers, the brochure is available on request to the educational coordination unit « Democracy or barbarism » of the Ministery of the French-speaking community : firstname.lastname@example.org / www.enseignement.be/dob
External expert. Project leader – Educational coordination unit « Democracy or barbarism », Ministery of the French-speaking community in Belgium.
Routes - Copyright 2009 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission