Immigration and foreign population in the southern European countries : a comparative analysis of trends and policies

Salvatore Strozza, University of Naples Federico II
Antonella Guarneri, Università La Sapienza-Roma
Anna Paterno, Università di Bari

On the basis of a careful examination of statistical information about migration derived from the most reliable sources available, we propose a framework for the last 15 years of the evolution of immigration and foreign presence in the new receiving countries of Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal). Particular attention is devoted to the recent changes, either relating to the considerable number of flows and the rapid increase in the presence of immigrants or to the rise and the prevail of new sending areas of migration streams. The specific aim of this contribution is point out the complexity of the phenomenon, focusing on the following two elements: 1) a consistent recent immigration – mostly irregular – deducible first of all through the results of last regularisation programmes; 2) a stable foreign population – as a consequence of family reunions, formation of new families and existence of an increasing second generation of immigrants – whose characteristics are partly drawn from the data of 2001 population censuses. Furthermore, these two elements are analysed in a comparative way in order to show similarities and differences both between the four countries and the different migrant sending areas. Thus, it is possible to underline the increasing role played by the East-West migrations, also due to the well-known political and economic events that characterised the 1990s. These characteristics need a legislative framework. In the last part of the work we examine the current migration legislation in the four countries with a special attention to the general European framework. In order to highlight common aspects and elements of originality, in the light of the past migration experience and current migration peculiarity, the two different dimensions of migratory policies are considered: immigration policies (entry and stay, asylum and border controls) and immigrant policies (integration process). .

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Presented in Session 4: International migration flows in Europe