Coordinated by Roberta PACE, Alain PARANT

 

Migration of Mediterranean nationals within

the Mediterranean Region[1]


 

Khalid Eljim

USR 3125 MMSH, Maison Méditerranéenne des sciences de l’Homme, LAMES UMR 7305, DEMOMED

Alain Parant

Institut national d’études démographiques (INED), Futuribles, Paris

 

Abstract: There have always been population flows between the countries of the Mediterranean region. From 1945 to the 1970s, most such flows were of workers from the South heading north for economic reasons. Since then the pattern of flows has changed considerably as other factors have been added to the equation. Flows have diversified and the roles of many countries within the migration system have changed. Some that were traditionally sending countries have now become major destinations while others, though still primarily sending countries, now also receive various categories of migrants. The increasing complexity of the flows and the changing socio-demographic profiles of the migrants are pushing governments to redefine their migration policies, or to introduce such policies if they had none before.

Keywords: Mediterranean region, migration, migrants, migration policies

 

1.     Introduction

The wide diversity among the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea has always generated migration flows between them. In recent decades, however, migration has intensified and the pattern of flows has become more complex. After World War II and until the 1970s, most migration flows in the region consisted of contingents of Southern workers heading north for economic reasons. Since then the map of migration flows has changed as people have begun to migrate for socio-cultural and political reasons as well as economic. Migrants now come from a wider range of countries, and the roles of some countries within the migration system have changed. One type of change is in Southern Europe, where Spain, Italy and Greece were countries of emigration until the late 1990s, but have become major receiving countries over the past two decades. The other is in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries: while still mainly countries of emigration, these are increasingly, for different reasons, destinations for various categories of migrants: European retirees, whose numbers have increased substantially in the past decade, and sub-Saharan migrants, either settling permanently or staying for a while with the aim of crossing to the northern shore. All these changes have added to the complexity of the region's migration patterns.

This paper sets out to study only the migration of Mediterranean nationals within the Mediterranean basin. The databases available for these countries were first used to identify the main trends in the numbers and profiles of people migrating within the region. The data from the different countries were then cross-correlated to draw up a table of the main population movements between Mediterranean coastal countries: entries to one Mediterranean country of immigrants from another Mediterranean country, versus exits from a Mediterranean country of emigrants to another Mediterranean country. Where the necessary data were available (country of birth, country of departure, nationality at birth etc.), the analysis of flows from a given country has been taken further to distinguish between flows of natives and of non-natives. This distinction provides some data for assessing the extent of multiple migration and for describing the increasing complexity of the Mediterranean migration system. The final part of the paper discusses the political and legal framework affecting the migration of Mediterranean nationals between Mediterranean countries and how it has changed in recent years.

2.       Migration of Mediterranean nationals within the Mediterranean region: main trends

According to United Nations estimates, the total population of the countries around the Mediterranean coast[2] was 470 million (6.8% of the world population) in 2010. We estimate that in that year the total number of emigrants from these countries was 17 million[3], or 8% of all international migrants, taking the United Nations estimate of 214 million. These figures show that there is a good deal of movement within the Mediterranean, a region where mobility has always been high. A significant proportion of the estimated flows[4] are within the region: nearly 7 million of the above-mentioned 17 million Mediterranean emigrants left home to live in another Mediterranean country. In recent decades these movements have intensified, while the sending and receiving countries have diversified.

Until the late 1990s, the majority of immigrants in France were from Mediterranean countries. Of the 4.3 million immigrants recorded in the 1999 census, 2.2 million were Mediterranean nationals and over half of these (1.3 million) were from the Maghreb (574,000 Algerians, 523,000 Moroccans and 202,000 Tunisians). In the early 1960s the two main immigrant nationalities had been Italian and Spanish: 907,000 and 515,000 respectively, making up half of all immigrants in France at that time and 77% of Mediterranean immigrants. Between 1962 and 1999 the Mediterranean immigrant population in France increased by 16% but the total immigrant population grew by 50%, the proportion of Mediterranean immigrants shrinking from 65% to 50%. This trend has continued over the past decade, the 2.6 million Mediterranean immigrants recorded in 2011 amounting to no more than 47% of the total immigrant population. The growing number of immigrants from the Maghreb (a 305% increase from 406,000 in 1962 to 1.6 million in 2011) and Turkey (40,000 in 1962, 246,000 in 2011, an increase of 505%) has not outweighed the decline in populations from other flows, mainly Spanish (from 515,000 in 1962 to 316,000 in 1999 and 248,000 in 2011) and Italian (from 907,000 in 1962 to 379,000 in 1999 and 303,000 in 2011).

The trends in France are part of broader changes occurring in the Mediterranean migration map over the past two decades. For example, several countries that were formerly countries of emigration have become countries of immigration on a huge scale. These include Italy and Spain.

Italy had been the Mediterranean region's foremost sending country, and even the world's foremost (Blancheton & Scarabello, 2010), since the late 19th century. In the last three decades it has suddenly become a country of net immigration. Its 1981 census recorded fewer than 200,000 immigrants, of whom some 10,000 were Mediterranean nationals; its 2011 census recorded 5.5 million immigrants, of whom a quarter were Mediterranean nationals. Romanians are by far the largest foreign community (1.1 million), followed by Albanians (486,000), then Moroccans (453,000); in all, 1.3 million immigrants in Italy are Mediterranean nationals. Italy is now second only to France as a destination for Mediterranean emigrants.

Spain now has the largest immigrant population (all origins combined) of any Mediterranean country. It received a massive influx of immigrants during the economic boom it enjoyed after joining the European Union in 1986. In the early 1980s it was host to 632,000 persons born abroad, of whom 449,000 were of Spanish nationality; in all, only one-third of immigrants were Mediterraneans, the largest contingents of these being French (124,000) and Moroccan (71,000[5]). Twenty years later, the number of persons born abroad had more than doubled and stood at 1.3 million, Moroccans being the most numerous (150,000). As in France, although the number of Mediterranean immigrants had risen to 205,000, they had shrunk as a proportion of the total – from 33% in 1980 to 23% in 2001, while immigrants from Latin America had increased over the same period from 22% of the total to 43%. This trend has accelerated over the past decade. Although the number of Mediterranean immigrants increased fivefold between 2001 and 2011 (1.07 million), they continued to decline as a proportion of the total to 19%, the total number of persons born abroad having risen to 5.65 million, four times as many as in 2001. Moroccans, constituting two-thirds of Mediterranean immigrants in Spain, are now more numerous there (717,000) than in France (671,000). But apart from the Moroccan exception, in the last two decades Latin America and Eastern Europe have supplied more migrants to Spain than have the Mediterranean countries.

The Western Mediterranean has seen a great deal of migration in recent decades, mainly between its southern and northern shores. These movements have also become far more complex than before. In France, for example, the 1999 census showed that 11% of immigrants who had not been resident in 1990 (80,000) had come from a country other than their country of birth. In the 1975 census this had been the case for only 4%.

The main reasons for migration in this Western part of the region are socio-economic, the growth of labour migration having led to family migration on a massive scale. In the Eastern part of the region, geopolitical factors predominate. Conflicts in the Middle East, the collapse of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s and the Balkan crises of the 1990s have all triggered major migration waves.

Although the data are not very precise since they make no distinction between refugees and their descendants, UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) estimates that at the end of 2003 there were 1.74 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, 413,000 in Syria (483,000 in 2010) and 390,000 in Lebanon.

After 1948, hundreds of thousands of Jews had left their countries of residence to settle in Israel. In 2011 immigrants from Mediterranean countries, estimated at 313,000, represented 17% of all immigrants to Israel, Moroccans (156,000 migrants) being the largest group, followed by French (44,000).

Lebanon presents a particular profile in this conflict-ridden region. It has seen intense population movements due to various causes connected with its history, demographic and ethnic makeup and socio-economic conditions. On the one hand nearly 580,000 Lebanese – more than one-sixth of the population – live abroad (source: Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalization and Poverty). On the other hand, Lebanon is still a destination for many refugees and immigrants from other Arab countries. Exchanges with other Mediterranean countries remain very minor. For cultural, political and historical reasons, France is still the main destination for Lebanese migrants (45,000).

In the Balkans, according to the UN High Commission for refugees (HCR), more than 700,000 Bosnians left their country because of the conflict in ex-Yugoslavia. This is the largest population displacement in Europe since World War II (source: International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), December 1997). At present, cross-correlation of the available data shows that the largest contingents of Bosnian and Croatian migrants have settled in Slovenia. That country, accommodating more than 156,000 Mediterranean immigrants, has become the area's main receiving country.

There were also mass departures from Albania during the 1990s, following the collapse of the communist regime in 1991. Estimates of the number of Albanians living outside their country at the end of 1993 vary between 300,000 and 450,000. Most were living in Greece (between 250,000 and 300,000) and Italy (between 40,000 and 150,000) (ICMPD)[6]. The most recent data confirm this pattern. According to our estimates (see table), over 840,000 Albanians are living in other Mediterranean countries, making Albania the main sending country in this part of the Mediterranean, with 57% of Albanian migrants living in Italy and 41% in Greece.

For other Mediterranean countries, emigration within the Mediterranean is relatively slight compared to emigration to the wider world. This is true of Turkey and Egypt, for example, which rank second and fourth among Mediterranean countries for international emigration. The global data base of the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalization and Poverty shows slightly over three million Turks living abroad. According to our estimations, only 382,000, or less than 10%, have chosen to settle around the Mediterranean. Of these, 80% are living in France. As regards Egypt, there are an estimated 2.17 million Egyptian emigrants in the world, of whom 300,000, or 14%, have settled in a Mediterranean country. They are more scattered among Mediterranean countries than are the Turks. Though some are living in France or Italy, the pattern is more commonly what could be called a South-South flow, Lebanon and Libya being common destinations. Libya is the only country of net immigration on the southern shore. For other southern shore countries the figures show relatively large numbers of Mediterranean immigrants, although precise data are still scarce. In Morocco, the 2004 census recorded nearly 26,000 residents born abroad. Of these, 57% were Mediterranean natives and two-thirds of these were French. According to the most recent statistics, from the French foreign ministry on 31 December 2013, 47,000 French nationals were on record at French consulates in Morocco, a figure that includes only half of the estimated 30,000-50,000 French retirees living there. Morocco's migration pattern has been changing fast over the past ten years; like Spain and Italy it has become a receiving country, mainly hosting migrants from sub-Saharan Africa; as a result of this pressure from the South, the authorities have drawn up a policy on migration.

Analysis of the data shows that a high proportion of intra-Mediterranean migration by Mediterranean nationals is taking place in the Western part of the region (Table 1, Map 1), between the northern shore countries Spain, France and Italy, which receive 70% of immigrants, and Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia on the southern shore, which supply 45% of emigrants. France is the foremost receiving country (2.6 million Mediterranean immigrants) and Morocco the primary source country (more than 2 million Mediterranean emigrants).


Table 1a Stocks of Mediterranean immigrants in the Mediterranean, by sending country and receiving country, 2011 (first part)

Destination

 

Origin

Albania

Algeria

*

Bosnia and Herzeg.

Cyprus

Croatia

Egypt.

**

Spain

France

OTHER

COUNTRIES

see Table 1b

Total Mediterranean migrants

Albania

 

 

63

275

237

 

1 835

6 368

840 690

Algeria

 

 

 

 

9

480

59 201

729 814

846 111

Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

 

 

 

6 733

 

2 087

13 260

153 949

Cyprus

 

 

 

 

 

 

307

980

28 121

Croatia

 

 

9 734

 

 

 

1 564

9 605

91 390

Egypt.

 

5 943

 

3 292

9

 

3 998

29 429

300 430

Spain

 

 

 

192

64

170

 

248 324

271 162

France

 

1 000

 

644

194

430

209 144

 

322 116

Greece

31 180

 

 

18 788

32

250

3 693

12 262

109 189

Israel

 

 

 

296

18

 

2 632

8 749

15 097

Italy

8 779

 

 

405

1 420

860

93 961

303 923

422 106

Lebanon

 

2 000

 

1 597

5

1 450

3 098

44 865

58 967

Libya

 

5 000

 

 

 

2 500

770

2 236

31 368

Morocco

 

1 000

 

 

8

730

717 126

671 225

2 011 271

Slovenia

 

 

1 000

65

1 999

 

1 099

2 467

9 948

Syria

 

6 000

 

3 272

17

3 940

4 993

15 941

115 447

Palestine

 

3 791

 

664

 

10 670

 

 

316 320

Tunisia

 

1 000

 

 

7

440

2 657

241 904

386 169

Turkey

1936

 

 

501

47

310

3 627

245 714

302 712

Mediterranean Immigrants Total (1000)

42

26

11

30

11

22

1 112

2 587

6 634

Men (1000)

21

 

 

18

 

12

647

1 337

 

 Women (1000)

21

 

 

12

 

10

465

1 250

 

Immigrants Total (1000)

51

72

 

197

 

77

6 307

5 514

 

 

Men (1000)

26

 

 

86

 

42

3 195

2 701

 

 

Women (1000)

25

 

 

111

 

35

3 112

2 813

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(follow Table 1a) Table 1b (second part)

Destination

 

Origin

OTHER

COUNTRIES

see Table 1a

 

 

 

Greece

Israel

Italy

Lebanon

*

Libya

Morocco

**

Sloven.

Syria

*

Tunis.

**

Turkey

Total Mediterranean migrants

Albania

346 190

0

482627

 

 

 

95

 

 

3 000

840 690

Algeria

613

12 945

25935

 

4000

180

32

 

12 176

726

846 111

Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

 

31972

 

 

 

96 897

 

 

3 000

153 949

Cyprus

12 788

 

187

 

 

 

15

 

 

13 844

28 121

Croatia

 

 

21079

 

 

 

49 158

 

 

250

91 390

Egypt.

13 554

17 840

90365

103 000

21000

500

55

11 000

 

445

300 430

Spain

112

 

19887

 

 

1 860

262

 

 

291

271 162

France

4 190

43 528

33 400

 

5000

9 360

1 801

 

3 425

10 000

322 116

Greece

 

2 635

7 250

 

 

 

99

 

 

33 000

109 189

Israel

 

 

2 461

 

 

 

46

 

 

895

15 097

Italy

4 803

 

 

 

 

640

4 640

 

1 436

1 239

422 106

Lebanon

448

2 532

2 472

 

 

120

28

 

 

352

58 967

Libya

504

15 184

1 516

 

 

520

55

 

1 083

2 000

31 368

Morocco

1 068

155 700

452 424

 

5000

 

24

 

6 439

527

2 011 271

Slovenia

117

 

3 201

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 948

Syria

8 242

7941

4 029

2 1000

33326

700

46

 

 

 6 000

115 447

Palestine

335

 

676

 

 

180

 

300 004

 

 

316 320

Tunisia

476

29 349

106 291

 

3000

420

55

 

 

570

386 169

Turkey

6 081

25 248

19 068

 

 

 

180

 

 

 

302 712

Mediterranean Immigrants Total (1000)

400

313

1305

124

71

15

153

311

25

76

6 634

Men (1000)

210

149

731

 

 

8

82

 

 

31

 

 Women (1000)

190

164

574

 

 

7

71

 

 

45

 

Immigrants Total (1000)

751

 1 855

5 458

 

 

 26

 272

426

 

 

 

Men (1000)

369

 846

2 551 

 

 

14

153 

220

 

 

 

Women (1000)

382

1 009

 2 907

 

 

 12

119 

206

 

 

 

 

NB: We have no data on immigrants living in Palestine.

Source: Authors' own output. EUROSTAT; OECD, Official Statistics Institutes, Global Migrant Origin Database (Migration DRC), Integrated Public Use Microdata Series International (IPUMSI), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration Carim. * These statistics are based on nationality (immigrants and their descendants), ** These data are taken from the 2006 census in Egypt and the 2004 censuses in Morocco and Tunisia.

Map 1 Stocks of Mediterranean migrants by sending country and receiving country

 

 NB: Stocks are represented as an accumulation of net migration flows. For the sake of readability we have included only the main stocks.

Arrow thickness is proportionate to the size of the immigrant stock. The largest stock, that of Moroccans in Spain (772,000 persons) us shown by a 15-point arrow.

Source: Drawn up by the authors from the table above.

 

Although they still appear to be geographically concentrated, migration flows between Mediterranean countries have diversified, at both sending and receiving ends. The question then is to what extent the observable quantitative changes also involve changes in migrants' characteristics. To answer that question would require a range of detailed information for all receiving countries, and that information is not available at present. The analysis below is therefore based only on incomplete data from the main receiving countries, but is nonetheless instructive.

 

3.       Socio-demographic profiles of Mediterranean migrants in Mediterranean countries

The first observation on this population group is its gender composition. According to the available data, migration flows between Mediterranean countries involve women as well as men, with men constituting only a slight majority of migrants (53.5%). The older the flow, the more equal the sex balance tends to be. In France, a receiving country of long standing, the gender distribution among Mediterranean immigrants is 51.7% men and 48.3% women – more equal than in Spain or Italy, where men are over-represented, at 58% and 56% respectively. In these two countries the largest contingent of Mediterranean immigrants is from the Maghreb; in Spain 60% of this group are men and in Italy 56%. In this migration flow men migrate first to find work, bringing their families over later, so that the gender balance becomes more equal. In France there were 294 men to every 100 women in the Maghreb immigrant community in 1975; by 2011, there were no more than 113 men to every 100 women. This is the reverse of the trend observed among Latin American immigrants, for example, who are found particularly in Spain. In this flow, in 2011 there were only 81 men to 100 women, and even fewer among Brazilians (61%) and Paraguayans (45%). While men are more or less the majority among Mediterranean immigrants in the main receiving countries, in other receiving countries such as Israel and Turkey the opposite is the case. In Israel 52.5% of Mediterranean immigrants are women, and in Turkey 59.3%.

Age distribution also varies according to the age of the migration flow. In France, in 2011, the average age of Mediterranean immigrants was 49[7], as against 46 for immigrants as a whole. And Mediterranean emigrants did not form a homogeneous group: the average age among Maghreb migrants was 45, compared to 58 for Spanish and Italian immigrants. Age at the time of migration has also increased over the years. Maghreb migrants who arrived in France between 1968 and 1975 were on average 24 years old on arrival (26 for men, 20 for women), whereas those who arrived between 1990 and 1999 were 25.8 years old on average (25.4 for men and 26.2 for women). The same trend can be seen for migrants from Italy: their average age on arrival has risen from 27 to 31.

Mediterranean immigrants living in Spain are somewhat younger. In 2011 their average age was 34.5 (35.2 for men, 33.6 for women), slightly younger than immigrants as a whole (35.7) and slightly older than the Latin Americans (33.5). The same trend prevails in Italy; though older (average 37 years) than their counterparts in Spain, Mediterranean emigrants are still younger than the average for all immigrants in the country, but a little older than Romanian immigrants (average 34).

The age profile of Mediterranean immigrants in the southern shore countries is closer to that in Italy than the slightly younger one in Spain[8]. In Morocco, in 2004, Mediterranean immigrants were 37.4 years old on average, the women being slightly older than the men (38.3 versus 36.7). The averages differed according to sending country: those born in France, the majority contingent, were 43 on average, with the women again slightly older than the men (average 45 vs. 40).

As well as these differences in sex and age structure, the socio-economic profiles of Mediterranean immigrants also vary between receiving countries.

In France, which has the largest and longest-standing Mediterranean immigrant population, these migrants vary widely in occupational terms. Mediterranean immigrants aged 15 and over are less likely to be working than the average for all immigrants (52% vs. 58%). The explanation for this lies in the age profile, which in turn is linked to how long these migrants have been coming to the country, as shown above. Economic activity rates for Maghreb and Turkish migrants as a whole are the same as the overall average (58%), but in closer detail, more Moroccans and Turks are working (60%) than Algerians (55%). Unemployment rates also vary, from 14% for Tunisians to 16% for Turks, the average for all immigrants being 12%. Among Turkish immigrants there is a relatively high proportion of women and men at home: 20% of those aged 15 and over, a percentage twice as high as for immigrants as a whole (9%). Immigrants from Southern Europe (Spanish and Italians), who formed the earliest of these migrant streams, are naturally over-represented among retirees: 59% of Italian and 50% of Spanish immigrants, compared to 26% of all Mediterranean immigrants and 21% for immigrants as a whole. As regards occupation, Maghreb and Turkish migrants are over-represented in the manual worker category: 38% of Maghreb migrants and 57% of Turkish migrants, compared to 32% of immigrants as a whole and 23% of Italian and Spanish immigrants, more of whom are managers, professionals or in higher intellectual occupations (21% and 17%).

In Spain, where immigration is far more recent, three-quarters of immigrants aged 16 and over are in work, a higher proportion than in France. However, in Spain as in France, slightly fewer Mediterranean migrants are in work (71%) than the average for all immigrants, though the figures mask wide differences. Among Maghreb migrants, for example, the women are less likely to work than the average for all women immigrants (56% vs. 70%) while the men are more likely (81%, as against 78% for male immigrants as a whole).

Overall, only 1% of immigrants have no education certificate and 25% have pursued higher education. There are wide disparities among Mediterranean emigrants. Among Maghreb immigrants (the largest group), 8% have no certificate at all and only 13% have pursued higher education, while more than half of Italian immigrants have done so.

Increasing numbers, more diverse flows, changing migrant profiles: these developments can partly be explained by the transformations that have taken place in sending countries in recent years, but they have also been shaped by changes in migration policies, which affect migrant profiles as much as they affect flows.

4.       CHANGING MIGRATION POLICIES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Apart from the agreements signed by northern shore countries that are part of Europe's Schengen area, such migration policies as exist in the Mediterranean are mostly unilateral or bilateral initiatives. Even in the European Union, the region's most structured and effective group, the lack of a clear, common migration policy on migrants from outside the EU and the lack of solidarity felt by countries faced with immigration problems often create tensions between member countries – tensions that have even led to threats to suspend the Schengen agreements. Although resources, means and policies are increasingly being mutualised across Europe (the Framework Programmes on solidarity and management of migration flows for 2007-2013 and 2014-2020), most flows between North and South are managed through measures taken by individual countries.

An examination of the measures taken by Mediterranean countries to manage migration flows show that they generally alternate between two approaches, one based on selection and on restricting entry, the other based on social management of immigrants. France is a good example of this. But it also emerges from this examination that when migration policies are decided unilaterally they often do not have the intended results. When economic immigration was stopped in the mid-1970s, following the economic crisis in the receiving countries, the way was opened for even larger flows, of new kinds: family migration, irregular migration, asylum seeking etc. With the increasing complexity of Mediterranean migration systems, current policies are showing their limits.

The striking difference in recent years is the emergence of two approaches, both aimed at limiting the flows. One is to combat illegal immigration and the other is to select future immigrants.

As regards illegal immigration, given the failure of existing measures, the northern shore countries are trying a new approach: shifting their 'policy borders' across the sea to the southern shore. Instead of managing the arrival and deportation of irregular migrants from the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa coming ashore in Spain or Italy, the north shore countries have adopted a 'preventive' approach. The first practical measures were taken in the early 2000s, when pressure was exerted on the Maghreb countries to revise their legal provisions on migration. In exchange for economic agreements, they were asked to strengthen their arsenal of penal measures against irregular migration. Morocco was the first country to take such measures. In November 2003 a law was introduced on "entry of foreigners and their sojourn in Morocco, and irregular immigration and emigration". A few months later, in 2004, Tunisia passed a law strengthening penal sanctions against irregular migration. In 2009, after resisting European pressure for several years, Algeria joined its neighbours and altered its penal code by strengthening sanctions against people smugglers.

The other strand of the preventive approach is to strengthen the material resources for monitoring and surveillance so as to restrict, if not entirely eliminate, departures and arrivals of illegal migrants. This means electronic surveillance systems, stronger barbed wire fences around Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco, etc. This 'preventive' approach, which has been extensively applied in practice, is gradually transforming the migration status of the Maghreb countries. Whereas migrants used to pass through, they are now settling – some temporarily, but also permanently for thousands who had hoped to reach the north shore of the Mediterranean. This new situation has driven the Maghreb countries to introduce immigrant reception policies just as the northern shore countries have done.

A good illustration of the new situation is Morocco, the largest supplier of Mediterranean migrants to other Mediterranean countries. For several years it has been faced with a massive influx of migrants hoping to cross to the countries of the North. Faced with the human tragedies of those turned back, which are regularly in the news (dozens of sub-Saharan migrants have died trying to get into Ceuta and Melilla), on 2 January 2014 the Moroccan authorities started a campaign to legalise thousands of irregular immigrants. Two months after the launch, according to the Moroccan migration ministry, 13,000 applications had been submitted by migrants of 86 different nationalities. This policy, which has been described as 'avant-garde', marks a clear change in the migration profile of Morocco, which had hitherto always been a country of emigration.

But efforts to stop irregular immigration are not restricted to Europe's southern gateways. To the east, in late 2012 Greece built a 13km barbed wire fence along its border with Turkey (like the one between the United States and Mexico) despite the indignation its announcement provoked.

Although generally speaking these measures have helped to slow the flows of irregular migrants, they have not put a stop to them. Numerous economic migrants and refugees from the Arab Spring (Syrians, Somalis and others) are still trying their luck in boats that are usually makeshift and inadequate. At the traditional crossing points into Spain and Greece, irregular migrants have adapted to a changing situation, sometimes climbing the barbed wire fences and forcing their way in.

At the same time as combating irregular immigration, in view of the crisis and the political exploitation of immigration issues, some leaders in receiving countries have more or less expressed their intention to choose their immigrants in future. Policies on allowing in skilled migrants vary widely between receiving countries, both as regards the populations concerned and the ways in which sending countries are approached. France has signed more bilateral agreements than have its neighbours: to date it has signed 16 agreements with other countries for collaborative management of migration flows or regarding professional migration. In the Mediterranean, it has agreements with Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon.

Differences in the ways receiving countries address immigration issues are partly due to different views of the role of immigration. The countries of Mediterranean Europe are not all faced with the same economic, political, socio-cultural and demographic issues. But leaving aside political and economic factors, which are closely dependent on the business cycle and naturally fluctuate over time, all these countries are facing an ineluctable aging of their populations and the medium- or long-term danger of depopulation. The role immigration can play in their demographic future varies significantly according to their past and present reproductive behaviour. France, with a fertility rate that is persistently among the highest in Europe, seems to be less dependent on immigration than Spain, Italy or Germany[9]. In this situation, where challenges and priorities differ, it is very hard to achieve a common approach to migration.

As well as the examples mentioned above, most Mediterranean countries reformed their migration policies and laws between 2000 and 2010. Reforms are still being introduced, especially in the countries of the South, which previously had no migration policies and whose legal systems date in some cases from colonial times. The reforms have two aims: controlling irregular migration and protecting the rights of foreign residents.

 

5.       OVERVIEW

The Mediterranean has a very long history of trade and migration between countries around its shores. In recent decades, the pattern of mobility between these countries has changed radically. In quantitative terms, flows have increased as new socio-economic, cultural and political factors (such as wars) have come into play. In geographical terms, analysis shows that most flows are taking place in the Western part of the Mediterranean, France being the foremost receiving country for Mediterranean migrants and Morocco the foremost sending country. Apart from Albania, which has seen a great deal of migration in recent decades, the other countries are not very much involved in intra-Mediterranean migration although they make a significant contribution to international mobility.

While flows have increased numerically, the profiles of Mediterranean migrants within the Mediterranean have also changed, but still vary widely according to country.

The wide differences between countries in terms of demography, economy, politics, culture etc., have made the Mediterranean region unique in its 'cohabiting differences'. This heterogeneity is increasing as the region becomes a transit and settlement zone for non-Mediterranean populations coming from distant lands and presenting 'new profiles'. The increasing complexity of the flows imposes on the Mediterranean countries a duty to cooperate, especially as the changes taking place in the intra-Mediterranean migration system are certainly far from over.

For many years "migration pressure on the North by the South" was a fair description of the migration pattern in the Mediterranean. But with recent and future changes in the region, this expression may not be applicable much longer, for one essential reason: demography. The demographic transition, which in the northern shore countries was spread over a long period, has taken only a few decades in the countries of the southern shore. As a result, and regardless of future fertility rates, the stock of potential emigrants – from the Maghreb countries for example – is likely to run out in the medium term[10]. Further, the political changes now happening in some of these countries may bring new hope to their young people and encourage them to drop any plans to emigrate.

 

 

Bibliography

BALDWIN-EDWARDS, Martin, Mediterranean Migrations: Regionalism versus Globalization, Finisterra: Revista Portuguesa Geografica, 39 (77). pp. 9-20, 2004.

BALDWIN-EDWARDS, Martin, The Changinging Mosaic of Mediterranean Migrations, Migration Information Source, 2004.

BELGUENDOUZ, Abdelkrim, Expansion et sous-traitance des logiques d’enfermement de l’Union européenne : l’exemple du Maroc, Cultures & Conflits(57), 2005.

BERGOUIGNAN, Christophe, ELJIM, Khalid, Le rôle des migrations dans l’avenir démographique de l’espace Euro-méditerranéen, in B.Hamdouch et B Yvars (dir), Enjeux et défis de la coopération euro-méditerranéenne. Editions Néothèque, 2013.

BLANCHETON Bertrand, SCARABELLO Jérôme, L’immigration italienne en France entre 1870 et 1914, Cahiers du GREThA, n°13-2010.

BRUNI, Michele, VENTURINI, Alessandra, Pression migratoire et propension à émigrer : le cas du bassin méditerranéen, Revue Internationale du Travail, Vol. 134, n. 3 Genève : BIT, 1995.

CARLING, Jørgen, Migration Control and Migrant Fatalities at the Spanish-African Borders, International Migration Review, 41(2): 316-343, 2007.

CHINDEA, Alin, MAJKOWSKA-TOMKIN, Magdalena, MATTILA Heikki, PASTOR Isabel, Migration in Albania: A Country Profile, International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2008.

DE HAAS, Hein, Morocco: From Emigration Country to Africa's Migration Passage to Europe, Migration Information Source, 2005.

DE HAAS, Hein, Morocco's migration transition: Trends, Determinants and Future Scenarios, Global Migration Perspectives research papers series No 28, Geneva, 2005.

DELISSE, François-Xavier, Les réfugiés en Bosnie-Herzégovine, Le courrier des pays de l’Est, n°1033, pp 61-70, 2003.

DUMONT, Gérard-François, La Méditerranée, un espace migratoire majeur dans le monde, Géostratégiques, n° 21, PP 107-124, 2008

ELJIM, Khalid, Maghreb- France : quelle émigration pour l’avenir, bilan et perspective, Thèse de doctorat en démographie, Université de Bordeaux, 2009.

ELJIM, Khalid, INAN, Ceren, BERGOUIGNAN, Christophe, PARANT Alain, Emploi futur et migrations dans l’espace méditerranéen, in B.Hamdouch et B Yvars (dir), Enjeux et défis de la coopération euro-méditerranéenne, Editions Néothèque, 2013.

ELJIM, Khalid, Les révolutions arabes et le devenir des migrations maghrébines, in CHAIGNEAU Pascal et PASCALLON Pierre (dir.), Que devient la sécurité euro-méditerranéenne avec les révolutions arabes ?, L’Harmattan, 2013.

ELMADMAD, Khadija, La nouvelle loi marocaine relative à l’entrée et au séjour des étrangers au Maroc, et à l'émigration et l'immigration irrégulières, Florence: European University Institute, RSCAS, 2004.

FARGUES, Philippe, LE BRAS, Hervé, Les mouvements de personnes en Méditerranée » : des migrations aux mobilités, http://strates.revues.org/6541, 2008.

FARGUES, Philippe, Arab Migration to Europe: Trends and Policies, International Migration Review, 38(4), 1348-1371, 2004.

JOUANT Nathalie., Migration(s) circulaire(s) et l’espace euro-mediterraneen : une perspective institutionnelle et juridique », CARIM, rapport Migrations mediterraneennes, 2009.

LABIB, Ali, L’immigration maghrébine en Italie : du transit à l’installation, Hommes et Migrations, n.1194, 1996.

LAHLOU, Mehdi, Migrations irrégulières transméditerranéennes entre le Maghreb et l’UnionEuropéenne : Evolutions Récentes, Rapport de Recherche, European University Institute, RSCAS, Florence, 2005.

PACE, Roderick, Migration in the Central Mediterranean, Jean Monnet Occasional Paper, No. 2, Institute for European Studies, Malta, 2013.

SCHATZER, Peter, Dying to Make it to (and in) Europe: Managing Migration in a mediterranean Context (European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), 2008.

SCIORTINO, Guiseppe, FERRUCIO, Pastore, Immigration and European Immigration Policy: Myths and Realities, Working Paper. FIERI, Torino, Italy, 2002.

 

Data Sources:

Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration (carim); http://www.carim.org/

Eurostat ; http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/

Euro-Mediterranean policy observatory (IEMedObs);  http://www.iemed.org/

Global database of the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalization and Poverty; http://www.migrationdrc.org/research/typesofmigration/global_migrant_origin_database.html.

IPUMSI, Integrated Public Use Microdata Series,International; https://international.ipums.org/international/.

International Organization for Migration; https://www.iom.int/.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD); www.oecd.org/

United Nations, World Population Prospects; http://esa.un.org/wpp/

National Statistical Offices

Albania: Instituti i Statistikës (INSTAT), http://www.instat.gov.al/

Algeria:  Office national des statistiques (ONS), http://www.ons.dz/

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Agencija za statistiku Bosne i Hercegovine (BHAS), http://www.bhas.ba/

Croatia: Croatian Central Bureau of Statistics, http://www.dzs.hr/

Cyprus: Statistical Service of Cyprus, http://www.mof.gov.cy/

Egypt: Central agency for public mobilization and statistics, http://www.capmas.gov.eg/

France: National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, http://www.insee.fr/

Greece: National statistical service of Greece, http://www.statistics.gr/

Israel: Central bureau of statistics, http://www.cbs.gov.il/

Italy: National Institute of Statistics, http://www.istat.it.

Lebanon: Central administration of statistics (CAS), http://www.cas.gov.lb/

Libya: Bureau of Statistics and Census Libya, http://bsc.ly/

Malta: National statistics office - Malta (NSO), http://www.nso.gov.mt/

Montenegro: Statistical office of Montenegro (MONSTAT), http://www.monstat.org/eng/

Morocco:  Haut-Commissariat au Plan (HCP), http://www.hcp.ma/

Palestine: Palestinian central bureau of statistics (PCBS), http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/

Slovenia: Statistical office of the Republic of Slovenia, http://www.stat.si/

Spain: Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), http://www.ine.es/

Syria: Central bureau of statistics (CBS), http://www.cbssyr.sy/

Tunisia: Institut national de la statistique (INS), http://www.ins.nat.tn/

Turkey: Turkish statistical institute (TURKSTAT), http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/

 

 


 

 



[1] This work is part of the SoDeMoMed project, financed by ANR Transmed (ANR-12-TMED-0005).

[2] The list of 'Mediterranean countries' varies according to the criteria used, which may be cultural, political, economic, geographical etc. This study concerns the 21 countries with acknowledged direct access to the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Malta and Cyprus.

[3] This estimate results from cross-correlating several data sources: OECD, United Nations, Global database of the Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalization and Poverty, and the statistics authorities of the main destination countries for Mediterranean migrants.

[4] In this paper, 'flow' refers to the final migration. From the data at our disposal we are not generally able to measure intermediate migrations, of which there are sometimes several.

[5] But only 20,000 French and 13,000 Moroccans if only non-Spanish migrants are counted.

[6] These estimates take into consideration irregular migrants not covered by the official statistics of the host country.

[7] This is a rough estimate based on a breakdown by major age group.

[8] This comparison is fairly approximate, owing to lack of recent data for Morocco.

[9] Christophe, BERGOUIGNAN, Khalid, ELJIM, Le rôle des migrations dans l’avenir démographique de l’espace Euro-méditerranéen, in B.Hamdouch et B Yvars (dir), Enjeux et défis de la coopération euro-méditerranéenne. Editions Néothèque, 2013.

[10] Khalid. ELJIM, Maghreb- France : quelle émigration pour l’avenir, bilan et perspective, Thèse de doctorat en démographie, Université de Bordeaux, 2009.