October 22, 2012
Immigration flows in the European continent are increasing with incessant rythms. Thousands of people are crossing the seas from Africa and Minor Asia to find their way in the so-called prosperous societies and achieve to ameliorate their lives. The problem is that it has been years now that immigrants cannot finally meet their needs, find a job or establish their new life into a completely different setting. The crisis aggravates conditions, but is it only this?
Inflows of immigrants deciding to step in the European continent are mainly economic immigrants. Usually their first station is Greece, Italy and Spain, three countries with large sea borders that facilitate means of transport. Most of the immigrants are illegal, having already mortgaged their property in homeland in order to afford the “journey” from hell to paradise. Respectively most of them, while having to cope with hardship, continue to send positive feedbacks to their relatives and friends back to their countries of origin about the conditions they met and how things are much better in order to avoid realizing that the paradize they were expecting to see does not exist. While this behavior is completely comprehensable, it creates additional problems as many potential immigrants take courage from expatriates and further decide to follow them to their new lands. Therefore, more and more immigrants decide to migrate in Europe in order to find a job and be in position to earn money and send a considerable part of it back home.
As the wave of immigrants is increasing, Europe cannot manage immigrants’ inclusion and social cohesion is damaged, especially now that economic recession ends up with additional wage cuts, unemployment, and few investments. A great part of immigrants is resorting to grey economy, lacks legalization, while many times in shortage of basic needs, a part of them ends up in theft and criminal acts. And as recession, joblessness and fear augment, locals resort to violent and discriminative acts against immigrants blaming them for aggaravating current conditions. This vicious circle is contantly reproduced and no solution seems to be viable.
Excessive and uncontrolled immigration flows have finally perplexed European societies with additional outcome the rise of racism. There are no concrete polices assumed -other than the disputed Doublin I and II Agreements about asylum- and consequently what we see is a European Union being the shelter for millions of illegal and desperate immigrants.
A serious debate has to be launched from the responsible Commissioner and the respective Ministers of the EU so that actions to be retrieved. I personally believe that the stepping point in the process should be the fact that nobody can impede or block immigration flows. And as economic conditions are getting even tougher globally, migration circles will continue running and intensifying. EU member-states should undertake joint actions to leave space for free movement of persons inside the EU borders, but with limits of stay. If EU is to be considered as a federal state, immigrants should be allowed to move freely with the fundamental condition that they will find an occupation or resort to social works, thus receiving an initial stipend to get along with basic needs. Moreover, for illegal immigrants, EU member-states should start being more reluctant in issuing green cards and leave space to travel inside Europe and start building their lives.
The final point is that we all need to realize that we are all entering a new stage of global diffusion where nothing is guaranteed and no home is safe. Global economic recession is circling, migration is circling, jobs are circling, and the only thing someone could think of as “certain” is the fact that wherever in the world conditions are better, there it is the place where someone could endeavor to build its life. No matter how hard is this conclusion, I deeply believe that this is the way people can survive in our vulnerable state of being.Dimitris Rapidis