Migration into Southern Europe: Non-legality and labour markets in the region
This paper collates the limited empirical evidence concerning illegal boat migrations into southern Europe, in order to identify the migrants' possible role in local, southern or European labour markets. Drawing upon my previous work, it is shown that immigration policies in southern Europe have exhibited a complex and varying mix of responses to non-legal migrations: the three policy instruments available are toleration, legalization and expulsion. Increasingly, the EU has been promoting expulsion as the major solution, and southern EU countries have become more interested in this policy instrument in recent years. However, the "learned" message to North Africa and beyond is clear: come as illegal migrants, and work is available for you. Essentially, the security paradigm of "Sieve Europe" contradicts much of Europe's labour market and demographic requirements: as of 2005, the EU has failed to conclude any meaningful policy texts on managing immigration into the territory, let alone enact policy. This incoherent approach puts the responsibility for immigration solely onto first state of arrival [e.g. Dublin Convention], whilst the concept of "burden-sharing" and refugees concerns only fiscal burdens. The paper concludes that the problem of non-legal immigration into the southern countries is the direct consequence of mismanagement of EU immigration policy, and can be solved only at the EU level.