Migration to Europe: between economics and politics

The title of the lecture is: “Migration to Europe: between economics and politics” Dr. Fargues began his lecture by defining migration as the crossing of a border, based on two criteria: migrants must be citizens of a "legal" nationality, and the country he/she seeks to migrate from is the country of birth. He likewise referred to the 1951 Geneva Convention defining a refugee as a person who fled the country of his nationality due to fear of persecution for political, racial or religious reasons; Dr. Fargues emphasized that this definition does not apply to Palestinian refugees, who are defined according to the UNRWA as those whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May1948 and who lost their homes and livelihoods as result of the 1948 war.

He then spoke of the European Union and how it deals with migration, the issue normally being associated with a state’s sovereignty rather than that of the EU. Regarding levels of migration, the number of refugees worldwide is declining and is now estimated at a ratio of 10.5%. Yet there appears to be an increase in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and this indicates that borders are simply more difficult to cross.

Dr. Fargues also noted that Europe is relatively speaking a minor recipient of refugees, especially over the last thirty years. Moreover due to the serious economic crisis, which hit Europe and the world in 2008, this has been translated into negative policies towards immigration. He then spoke of the impact of globalization on migration, whereby the globalization of knowledge and economy are two factors which encourage migration.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 11