Immigration Policies in the European Union: European Policy towards Immigration from Third Countries Is Subject to Certain Restrictions Which Must Be Removed to Provide a Fair Working Environment for All Immigrants to Europe

By Spidla, Vladimir | The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Immigration Policies in the European Union: European Policy towards Immigration from Third Countries Is Subject to Certain Restrictions Which Must Be Removed to Provide a Fair Working Environment for All Immigrants to Europe


Spidla, Vladimir, The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs


Since the second half of the nineteenth century, nationalist mythology has created the notion that immigrants are marginal or even disruptive components of a homogenous society. Among some individuals, this primitive argument still prevails today. History reveals, however, the important role immigrants have played in creating the collective cultural heritage of Europe.

Free Movement of People vs. Immigration

In the present era of European integration, we do not label immigration between individual European states as "immigration," but rather as the "free movement of people" within a common European area. The European Commission recognizes that some member states, however, classify citizens from other EU countries as "immigrants," i.e., the same category as those who emigrate from outside Europe.

Historical examples related to immigration within Europe influence our contemporary views about immigration from third countries. Through technological advances, distances have "shrunk;" immigration between continents today is similar to immigration between European countries in the past. But it will be a long time before inter-European continental immigration truly means the "free movement of EU citizens."

This is because several states on the European continent--the west Balkans, Ukraine, Russia, the Caucasus--remain outside of the European Union. In addition, while North African and Middle Eastern countries share the common Mediterranean region with certain European states, these non-European states are, indeed, extremely far from EU membership. Emigration from these regions to Europe is, however, embedded in its history; Saint Paul was an immigrant from today's Israel and Saint Augustine from Tunisia.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

While the EU is attempting to eliminate all restrictions on the free movement of EU citizens, we have kept in place restrictions for immigration from countries outside of the European Union. It is necessary, however, to recall that policies related to immigration from non-EU countries have obvious parallels to past immigration between European states.

Why do we Need the European Dimension?

The European Union must create a common EU-wide policy for immigration from third countries. To insist that the EU's member-states create their own policies towards non-EU immigration is hypothetically possible, but unfeasible in practice. So too, it is ethically unacceptable for immigrants to be protected against exploitation in one member-state and not in another. On EU territory, basic rights should be guaranteed. Core European values do not uphold slave-like living and working conditions for immigrants.

Some may believe that relegating immigrants to the lowest levels of society and exploiting them for marginal wages brings economic advantages. This perspective is extremely shortsighted. As history has shown us, it is advantageous for states to encourage immigrants to immediately integrate.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Immigration Policies in the European Union: European Policy towards Immigration from Third Countries Is Subject to Certain Restrictions Which Must Be Removed to Provide a Fair Working Environment for All Immigrants to Europe
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?