This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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Ch 4. Who is knocking at my door?
The experience of hosting people.
1. A legal perspective: laws, statutes, rules
As underlined by the Belgian Report, all the countries have been adopting legal measures which they hadn’t needed before, that is until the migratory inflows were following the traditional job market rules, and were therefore regulated by suitable bilateral agreements. The first measures to control the labour market in Belgium are positioned from 1936, in the context of the economic crisis of the 30th, and attest very early the will to regulate immigration by legal measures. [read more]
- As noticed by the French and German Reports too, the legislation of the hosting countries has been intensified, first following the crisis of the 70s, and afterwards with the geo-political European transformations occurred at the beginning of the 90s. So the restrictions to access the labour market have beeen progressively cancelled for the citizens from countries which have recently become members of the E.U., while the stiffening of the legislation concerns the migrants from non European countries.
- The Slovakia Republic and Romania too, are making laws both in order to control the outflows and to favour the repatriation as well as to limit the inflows; they are also stipulating bilateral agreements. In Romania, since 2004, the National Strategy on Migration, has been aiming at giving a legal frame to the work migrations, to the asylum right and to the naturalization; here an Action Plan has also been started to facilitate the migrants’ return.
- In general, all the western countries are adopting measurements of control/limitation or block of their inflows.
- The first innovation is the extension of the right of asylum request. The xenophobic positions take cue just from this innovation, as underlined by the Belgian Report, to eliminate this right from the human rights field and move it to the disguised economic migration one.
- A second issue concerns the illegal immigration and stay. This phenomenon, which is a constant of the work migration, is today, in some countries, as for example in the North of France, a very temporary one (as a need for transit, a temporary crossing through single nations). In other countries such as Belgium or Italy, the illegal immigrants are often settled for a long time, to live and to work there. We can take the example of the recent incidents that occured in Calabria between the local population and the illegal workers employed for orange picking. The control of such phenomena is really necessary but at the same time very difficult due to the actual interlink between ‘illegal stay’, criminality and international terrorism. All these factors help the xenophobic propaganda and play on the people’s psychological feeling of insecurity based also on the problems of the economic crisis.
- The other main aspect of the legislative action concerns the integration conditions, which means integration of both the number of workers considered useful and necessary, and of the so-called “third generation” of migrants..
- It’s on this aspect that we have to consider the problem of the citizenship, more generally speaking the problem of the enjoyment of the civil rights and of the right to vote in the local elections. The discussion about the times for the acquisition of the entitlement to vote and of the citizenship is focused on the “jus sanguinis” or “jus soli” (“blood” or “soil” right) theories and on whether the integration of a nation must be a prerequisite or it is an effect of the acquisition itself.
- Among the Reports we collected, as for the right of vote for the local elections, we found a positive confirmation only in the Belgian’s one, where not only, since 1999, all the migrants coming from the countries member of the EU, can vote for the local elections (as a result of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 establishing the European citizenship, that is to be applied in each member state), but this right is extended, since 2004, also to the other migrants.
Routes - Copyright 2009 - This project has been funded with support from the European Commission