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Western European Strategies

to Deter Unwanted Migration:

Neither New Barbarian Invasions

Nor Fortress Europa

Mark J. Miller

University of Delaware

Prepared for the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform

June, 1994

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Freeman, G. 1994. The Capacity of Democratic States to Control Unwanted Migration: An Overview. The Annals. (July).

Hamilton, K. (Ed.). 1994. Migration and the New Europe. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Hollifield, J.F. 1993. Immigrants, Markets and States. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Ireland, P. 1991. Facing the True `Fortress Europa': Immigrant and Politics in the EC. Journal of Common Market Studies 29:5 (September).

Kepel, G. 1987. Les Banlieues de l'Islam. Paris: Seuil (especially chapter three).

Miller, M.J. 1986a. Industrial Policy and the Rights of Labor: The Case of Foreign Workers in the French Automobile Assembly Industry. In Policy Perspectives on National Industrial Development, Volume VI (19884), the Michigan Yearbook of International Legal Studies. Ann Arbor.

__________ 1986b. Policy Ad-hocracy: The Paucity of Coordinated Perspectives and Policies. The Annals 485:70-71 (May).

Papdemetrios, D. 1994. Remarks at the Brookings Institution, May, Washington, DC.

Salt, J.; et al. 1994. Europe's International Migrants. London: HMSO (p.185).

Talha, L. 1990. Interview (May).

Tapinos, G. 1991. Speech at Saltzburg Seminar, Austria (April).

van Amersfoort, H.; Penninx, R. 1994. The Development and Regulation of Migration in Western European Welfare States: The Case of the Netherlands 1960-1992. The Annals (July).

Veen, H-J.; et al. 1993. The Republikaner Party in Germany: Right-Wing Menace or Protest Catchall? Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies.


Abstract -5-

Introduction -5-

Key Trends in Migration to Europe since 1970 -8-

The Crisis of International Migration to Europe -16-

Why the New Barbarian Invasions Have Not Materialized from

the East or the South -20-

Assessing West European Capacity to Prevent Illegal

Migration -29-

Implications for the United States -36-

references -37-


1. Unemployment Rates of Nationals and Nonnationals in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, by age (below and above 25 years of age) as well as by EEF and non-EEC origin, 1991 -11-

2. Evolution of Employed Aliens and Citizens in France by Sector from 1975 to 1990 -13-

3. Improvements in Residence Status of Germany's Aliens -16-

4. Asylum-Seekers in Western Euope: 1974-1994 -18-

5. Asylum-Seekers Recognized as Refugees in Germany 1979-1993 (%) -18-

6. Visas Delivered to Citizens of Eastern Bloc States by Germany 1980-1989 -19-

7. Total Annual Immigration of Aliens to Western European States (EC and EFTA) 1985-1992 -21-

8. Number of Asylum-Seekers from Central and Eastern Europe (Excluding Former Yugoslavia) in the Eastern

Union -24-

9. Balkan Refugees -25-

10. Number of Places Offered to Vulnerable Groups from Former Yugoslavia by the End of April 1993/EU and Other Receiving Countries -26-

11. Foreign Employees in the F.R. of Germany by Occupational Qualification 1977-1992 -28-

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12. Total Immigration in the European Union -30-

13. Number of Ansylum-Seekers in European Union --32-

14. The Recovery from the Asylum Emergency in France -32-

15. Evolution of Asylum Adjudications: Refugee Status Accorded and Asylum Recongnition in France

1981-1992 -33-

16. Summary of Legalizations in Selected Western European States -33-

17. Immigration of Seasonal Workers to France by nationality 1946-1989 -35-

Our immigration history is an important U.S. foreign policy asset and, in light of transatlantic dilemmas on migration, a multilateral resource. The key is to build a framework of predictable, sustainable, and democratically legitimate policies in the international migration area and thereby create a pillar for a return to order and comity in world affairs. Failure to accomplish this will gravely compromise any future prospects for world order. In view of the possible immensity and complexity of the international migration challenge for the United States and Western Europe, the post-Cold War challenge to transatlantic partnership can be said to be very different than that of the past, but no less vital.

Currently, Western democracies view

international migration mainly as a problem. Both positive and untoward potentialities inhere the phenomenon, however. Legal immigration policies express democratic will and recognition of such rights as family reunification. The legal immigration tradition of the United States is one that deserves emulation. One consequence of closer U.S.-European cooperation might well be to nudge Western Europeans towards embracing a legal immigration system that now exists de facto.


Abdi, N. 1994. Les nouveaux repatriés d'Algerie echouent en Seine-Saint-Denis. Libération (May 23) 13.

Brubaker, W.R. 1992. Citizenship Struggles in Societ Successor States. International Migration Review, Special Issue: International Migration and the New Europe (Summer).

Commission of the European Communities. 1994. Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on Immigration and Asylum Politics. Brussels, February 23.

Cornelius, W.; Martin, P.L.; Hollifield, J.F. (eds.). 1994. Controlling Immigration: A Global Perspective. Stanford University Press.

Einaudi, J-L. 1991. La bataille de Paris. Paris: Seuil.

Eizenstat, S.E. 1994. Immigration into Western Societies. Remarks at the European Community Studies Association Workshop, May 14, Charleston, SC.

Federal Ministry of the Interior. 1993. Survey of the Policy and Law Concerning Foreigners in the Federal Republic of Germany. Bonn: (pp.81-82).

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War challenges to the transatlantic partners and other Western democracies. Sustained, systematic, and comprehensive bilateral and multilateral coordination and cooperation is imperative if the challenge is to be met.

Asylum policy reform, legalization policies, temporary foreign worker programs, employer sanctions, and other policies all are of broad interest, as are initiatives on the migration and development nexus. This is an area where the vision of multilateral coordination and cooperation with international agencies articulated in recent U.S. foreign policy statements can be given substance.

Western Europeans appear to desire dialogue and cooperation with the United States in this realm. In light of situations like the Algerian impasse, it would appear urgent to step up the pace of dialogue and concrete cooperation.

International migration to Europe indirectly affects U.S. national security interests. While this analysis suggests that the West Europeans will be able to cope with their migration problem, this outcome is not foreordained. As in other areas, the U.S. could play a constructive leadership role in the international migration area.


This paper analyzes major developments in European migration policies over

the last decades with an eye towards

U.S. public policy concerns. It summarizes trends in legal immigration,

legalization policies, policies towards asylum-seekers, temporary foreign worker admissions, and measures taken to curb

illegal migration.

Western European states have developed a limited capacity to deter illegal migration through such measures as employer sanctions, carrier sanctions, visa policies, reform of asylum policies. These measures will continue to be incrementally strengthened. However, they cannot hermetically seal Europe. Despite statements like the French Minister of the Interior's call for zero immigration, legal immigration will continue—as will some illegal migration. Further steps will be taken to enhance integration of legally resident aliens, who are the most affected by illegal migration.

Rising unemployment and economic restructuring have disproportionally affected foreign workers in Europe. Their employment characteristics are very different today from what they were in the 1970s. Despite employer calls for a re

turn to guestworker and seasonal worker policies, there does not appear to be a prospect for massive recruitment of foreign labor. There also is no serious prospect for rollbacks on migrants rights achieved in the 1970s. Support for anti-immigrant parties may have crested

and does not seriously challenge democratic institutions. There exists a dense web of bilateral and multilateral treaties that will prevent achievement of zero


This paper seeks to dispel exaggerated notions of Voelkerwanderung and of gestapo-like treatment of aliens in Europe. It reveals a remarkable convergence in migration policy concerns between Europe and the U.S. at a time when transatlantic coordination on migration issues is urgently needed. Europe confronts enormous challenges in the migration area. Situations like Algeria are most worrisome. But uncontrollable mass migration has not bowled over Europe. Instead only a fraction of the migrants who aspire to take up residency there make it.


President Clinton's moving visit to Western Europe in early June 1994 reaffirmed

North Africa, Turkey, or Rumania. Millions of them aspire to come to Western Europe, but most cannot make it. There are many hurdles in their way now that were not there in the 1950s or 1960s. Some do make it, but their existence is often quite bleak. Legalization of their status no longer appears to be either a moral imperative or advisable as Western European democracies have made it clear that they no longer intend to tolerate illegal immigration—although some refuse to believe this.

The gap between stated policies and realities may narrow in coming years despite the daunting prospects alluded to earlier. Western European governments appear to attach a high priority to international migration and they are linking immigration control aims to foreign policy, trade, and foreign assistance initiatives. Only time will tell whether they succeed in coordinating and implementing a sustained and comprehensive approach to ameliorating their migration problem. But chances are that they will.

Implications for the United States

Regulation of international migration looms as one of the principal post-Cold

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long-term United States interests in European democracies and in further development of transatlantic partnership. Within this context, it seems imperative for Americans and Europeans, as well as the rest of this interdependent world, to arrive at an accurate assessment of Europe's migration problem. There are several reasons why Americans, in particular, should be concerned.

First, regulation of international migration arguably is Europe's most pressing domestic and foreign policy issue. Other competing priorities, such as Europe's alarming unemployment, often are bound up inextricably with the migration issue. Given global realities, there is no reason to expect international migration regulation concerns to diminish over the short to medium term. Indeed, prospects for the twenty-first century in this regard are most daunting. If not dealt with in a constructive, comprehensive, and sustained manner, the international migration issue risks endangering Europe's democratic institutions, appreciably destabilizing societies, and adversely affecting Europe's ties with other regions. Europeans increasingly view international migration as affecting their national security (Hamilton 1994). Americans must take note of this, as what affects European security indirectly af

fects us. We have a long-term and vital stake in European security.

Second, Americans are in the same boat as Europeans. For all the differences in our respective immigration histories, we confront similar long-term challenges in the realm of international migration. A palpable convergence in U.S. and European immigration issues and concerns has occurred since World War II. These similarities make European policies on international migration instructive, although analysis must be guarded and nuanced both by appreciation of underlying and often highly significant transatlantic differences and by variations within Europe.

In this regard, two images of Western European response to the international migration challenge are unsettling. One portrays Western European and other Western democracies as unable to prevent illegal migration. The most extreme version of this image is conjured up by the German term Voelkerwanderung—the barbarian invasions. This term re-emerged in the aftermath of the collapse of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. The tottering Soviet government helped propagate the image as part of a gambit for increased assistance (Brubaker 1992). Essentially, the message was, "Help us

Table 17.

Immigration of Seasonal Workers to France by Nationality 1946-1989



















































































































































































. 35






































































































































































































































































Source: Office National d'Immigration, Statistiques-Année 1984 and André Lebon, Regard san l'immigration et la présence étrangère en France 1989/1990.

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or millions of us will descend upon you." This recalls Mexican President Salinas' often repeated remark that the U.S. will either get Mexican tomatoes or Mexican migrants.

The Voelkerwanderung image, however, is not to be dismissed lightly. It is taken very seriously by more than a handful

of respected immigration scholars (Cornelius, Martin & Hollifield 1994). In its academic version, the image holds that Western European and other Western democracies currently are, and will be, unable to cope with international migration. The immigration control strategies of Western democracies are flawed and fated to fail. The deep structural forces at work in the international economy and in global society are such that immigration control measures are more symbolic than real. International migration essentially is a function of employment demand. Democratic states can do little to correct or adjust continuing employer demand for cheap foreign labor. Hence, the flows will continue in one form or another. As one high-ranking French official phrased it, "One closes the door but opens the windows." Viewed through this optic, immigration control strategies serve mainly to legitimate the state but they ignore or obscure the realities of illegal migration.

The scenario of mass uncontrollable

migration is disquieting for manifold reasons. It fuels right-wing extremist parties that advocate draconian measures, not only to stop illegal migration, but usually also to roll back the rights of resident aliens and even of the rights of

certain freshly naturalized citizens.

The most extremist envisage mass involuntary repatriation of "unwanted aliens"—particularly Muslims. The appeal of anti-immigrant politics, in turn, frustrates integration policy goals by deepening the chasm separating immigrant and nonimmigrant communities. Moreover, the notion that little can be done by governments to prevent illegal migration has insidious effects on the credibility of governments and adversely influences the morale of those charged with the implementation of public policies. In brief, the image threatens

to become a self-fulfilling prophecy if

officials and publics at large come to

view governmental policies as doomed to failure or, worse yet, as orchestrated hypocrisy.

The second image or scenario is the converse of the first. Western Europe has become a Fortress Europa of draconian immigration policies, hermetically sealed borders, and oppressive measures towards all immigrants—illegal, resident

jobs, much of the problem of illegal immigration would be resolved.

Whereas the debate over the wisdom of temporary foreign worker policies in Western democracies was once thought closed, the 1991 German decision to lift the 1973 blanket curb on foreign worker recruitment opens up a new chapter. Generally, however, high unemployment rates, particularly among foreign residents, discourage a resumption of large-scale foreign worker policies. Adverse

political reaction to aliens also is a factor.

Table 17 chronicles the evolution of seasonal foreign worker employment in France. Retention of seasonal foreign worker policy constituted a major exception to the recruitment curb declared in 1974 and testifies to the clout of agricultural interests in French politics. Nonetheless, seasonal worker admissions dropped steadily during the 1980s. This reflected an effort by French officials to wean growers from utilization of foreign seasonal workers. Mounting unemployment made it increasingly difficult to justify seasonal foreign worker admissions. At the same time, changes in Spain were affecting the Spanish grape pickers who used to comprise the bulk of seasonal workers. As their numbers dwindled, French growers increasingly looked to

Eastern Europe, especially Poland, for new sources of labor.

Other policy instruments commonly used by Western European governments to limit illegal immigration include employer sanctions, airline carrier sanctions, more stringent visa policies, interior controls, and border controls. In a period of twenty years, most Western European states have developed panoplies of laws directed against illegal immigration and a limited, but still significant, capacity to enforce these laws. Many factors affect how well a particular Western European state fares in terms of overall deterrence of illegal immigration. The insular British, for instance, would appear to acquit themselves well without employer sanctions. The Germans, because of their geography, appear to be having a harder time. But even where illegal immigration is thought to be extensive, illegal alien employment appears concentrated in certain industries and jobs with poor wages, difficult working conditions, and work that is held in low esteem.

Off-the-books employment of Americans is not uncommon across Western Europe, but there is not much worry over it. The real worries are over the millions of unemployed and underemployed youth of

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alien, or naturalized citizen (Ireland 1991). Key to the Fortress Europa image is an interpretation of mainstream Western European political parties and their electorates as afflicted by contagion from the extremist, anti-immigrant right. Parties and leaders with generally principled and constructive stands on immigration are portrayed as pandering to xenophobia. Measured efforts to prevent illegal immigration or render inevitably restrictionist policies more effective are

interpreted as racist or neo-Nazi in

inspiration. Legitimate distinctions between resident and nonresident aliens are obscured in order to denounce the alleged callousness of governments and their contempt for the human rights of migrants. In this second image, migrants themselves seem incapable of doing wrong and Western European governments incapable of immigration restriction consistent with human rights and democratic norms.

If this second image were accurate, the cornerstone of America's relationship with Western Europe would be in jeopardy. Democratic societies falter when there is systematic disregard for human rights and persistent legal status inequality. The rule of law would be in doubt. One could expect the massive migrations of the post-1945 period to end in

Spartacus-style revolt or sullen acquiescence to a new form of apartheid.

Fortunately, both commonplace images badly distort contemporary Western European immigration realities. Moreover, there appears to be only a remote chance that either scenario will come about in the future. One cannot completely rule out anti-immigrant extremist parties achieving power one day. If the National Front in France or the Republikaners in Germany were to achieve power, the democratic nature of those two societies would very much be in doubt. However, even in this most extreme and unlikely scenario, international constraints, the enmeshing of these states within the European Union and NATO, as well as other bilateral and multilateral treaties and relationships, make effective implementation of extreme anti-immigrant policies, such as the National Front's 50- point program, dubious.

Despite the outcome of the most recent Italian general election, the spectre of a resurgence of the extreme right in Western Europe has been blown out of proportion. There are ample grounds for vigilance and worry, particularly with regard to rising anti-immigrant violence in some countries. But most voters for extreme-right parties are not committed

Table 15.

Evolution of Asylum Adjudications: Refugee Status Accorded and Asylum Recognition in France, 1981-1992


Cases Refugees Recognition

Year Abjudicated Recognized Rate

1981 18,767 14,586 77.72% 1982 21,210 15,670 73.88%

1983 20,860 14,608 70.03%

1984 21,928 14,314 65.28%

1985 26,662 11,539 43.28%

1986 27,274 10,645 39.03%

1987 26,628 8,704 32.69%

1988 25,425 8,794 34.59%

1989 31,170 8,770 28.14%

1990 87,352 13,486 15.44%

1991 78,442 15,467 19.72%

1992 37,202 10,819 29.08%

Source: Adapted from OFPRA documents

Table 16.

Summary of Legalizations in Selected Western European States

Austria: Small-scale and unpublicized administrative legalizations permitted in the 1980s.

Belgium: Overtime legalization in 1974. Government has since opposed the option.

France: Routine legalization 1946-1968, exceptional legalization policy thereafter, 1.4 million legalizations 1948-1981, exceptional legalizations 1972-1973, 40,000; 1977-1979 (Mauricians 1,000; 1980-1981, Sentier, 3,389; 1981-1983, 150,000.

Germany: Legalization-like policy through nominative recruitment process until 1973, small-scale, unpublicized legalizations on individual basis for humanitarian reasons thereafter,c officially eschews legalization policy.

Italy: Unpublicized small-scale legalization possible until (around) 1985, on and off legalization policy in 1987 and 1988 (105,000 applicants), major legalization policy in 1990, 204,000 aliens legalized.

Netherlands: 15,000 aliens legalized in 1975, 850 legalized in 1980.

Spain: 44,000 aliens legalized in 1985-1986. Political movement in support of legalization and Spanish-Moroccan negotiations lead to limited reopening of legalization opportunity for Moroccans by 1991.

Sweden: Several hundred aliens legalized in 1976. Government has since eschewed legalization.

Switzerland: Legalization eschewed, but cases of excessive rigor policy grants legal status to more than 10,000 aliens, mainly asylum-seekers denied refugee status, since 1982.

United Kingdom: Small-scale legalization 1974-1978.

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ideologues (Veen, et al. 1993). Rather, many are protest voters fed up with perceived governmental laxity in immigration matters, particularly vis-a-vis asylum-seekers. The perception of

laxity is incongruent with the image of Fortress Europa, but it probably is more consistent with the facts than the latter image. Western European governments were unprepared for the asylum-seeker influx and it took them a decade or more to adjust. But steps have been taken to reduce abuse of asylum and these measures have had results. This should weaken the appeal of anti-immigrant extremism in the future. Recent elections suggest that support for the National Front in France may have crested at 15 percent of the electorate.

The spectre of mass uncontrollable

migration and the related notion of democratic state incapacity to regulate international migration also cannot be dismissed readily. Western European states do face daunting challenges in regulation of international migration and many of their control efforts to date have been inadequate. Some Western European states appear more effective than others in this respect (Freeman 1994). Substantial illegal immigration to Europe continues two decades after the onset of serious efforts by Western European

states to curb illegal immigration. But the apocalypse has yet to happen. Indeed, it is very difficult to ascertain how extensive illegal immigration is, although the figure of 2.6 million illegal residents within the European Union has gained credence.1

Estimates of illegal immigrant populations are educated guesswork and often are made to suit political purposes, whether it be to embarrass a government or a political rival or to discredit efforts to curb illegal migration. The indeterminate nature of the illegal alien population renders interpretation of Western European efforts to control illegal immigration much more akin to an art than a science and condemns scholarship in this area to unrelenting controversy. Nonetheless, it seems fair to observe that much more is known about illegal immigration to Western Europe today than two decades ago. Indeed, improved understanding of what might be termed the sociology and political economy of illegal migration constitutes a major reason for believing that Western European states will be able to cope with the challenge of international migration in the twenty-first century.

Table 13.

Number of Asylum-Seekers in European Union

Year 1991 1992 1993

Belgium 15,354 17,647 22,039

Germany 256,112 438,191 322,599

Denmark 4,609 13,884 6,121

Spain 8,138 11,708 5,778

France 47,380 27,000

Greece 5,944 4,000 827

Ireland 31 250 65

Italy 28,000 2,500 1,005

Luxembourg 238 2,000 381

Netherlands 21,615 20,346 35,399

Portugal 163 200 2,091 United Kingdom 57,700 32,000 22,350

Total 447,275 571,718 420,718

Source: Commission of the European Communities, . . . On Immigration and Asylum Policies, p.12.

Table 14.

The Recovery from the Asylum Emergency in France

Number of Number of % of Asylum Decisions Decisions/ Applications Applications

1981 19,863 18,767 94.5

1982 22,505 21,210 94.2

1983 22,350 20,860 93.3

1984 21,714 21,928 101.0

1985 28,925 26,662 92.2

1986 26,290 27,274 103.7

1987 27,672 26,628 96.2

1988 34,352 25,425 74.0

1989 61,422 31,170 50.7

1990 54,813 87,352 159.4

1991 47,380 78,442 165.6

1992 28,873 37,202 128.8

Source: Adapted from OFPRA Documents

1The estimate is W.R. Boehning's—the ILO's migration specialist and the leading authority on migration to Western Europe (Salt, et. al. 1994).

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immigration became the cornerstones of policy in most Western European states. The overarching goal was stabilization, if not reduction, of alien populations.

For more than a decade, a rough stabilization did occur. This did not mean international migration to Western Europe stopped or that alien populations themselves were immutable. To the contrary, considerable legal immigration continued in the form of family reunification. Some scholars have chosen to interpret post-1972 family reunification as evidence of governmental incapacity to regulate international migration. But, for the most part, this interpretation is misleading, despite the discomfiture of many governments and the currency gained by terms like "immigration stop" and "sealing the borders" (Hollifield 1993; van Amersfoord & Pennix 1994). Foreign worker settlement meant that all Western European states became de facto immigration lands insofar as they recognized a right to family reunification.

As far as resident alien populations were concerned, while overall numbers stabilized, their characteristics changed significantly from 1975 to 1985 and even more so thereafter. The key trends were contraction of alien populations from nearby European countries offset by

The change in the German asylum law will make it very difficult for applicants who transit countries abutting Germany to have their cases heard as most such individuals will be returned to the neighboring state. The Dublin Convention signed by EU member states to discourage multiple applications is not yet functioning. But, when it comes into effect, it should ease the enormous burden shouldered by Germany. The question is:

Will the Austrians and the Czechs be able to cope?

Legalization policies represent another way that Western European states attempt to cope with illegal migration. Table 16 summarizes the major Western European legalizations in recent years. Several states have expressly eschewed legalization. In France, "exceptional" legalizations are recurrent. The most recent one there dates from 1991 and was available to asylum applicants who had not been recognized but who could demonstrate integration into French society.

Legalization policies are attractive in that they hold out the hope of reducing the illegal alien population. However, assessment of a legalization policy's impact is difficult. There is some evidence that the French legalization of 1981 to 1983 served to attract additional illegal immigrants.

French scholars disagree bitterly on how successful the legalization was. Some allege that there was widespread fraud—particularly in applications from agricultural workers—much as was witnessed in the SAW program in the United States.

Overall, the results of European legalization efforts appear mixed. They clearly did enable tens of thousands of aliens to accede to legal status—a matter of more than passing interest to the individuals and states concerned. But they were also plagued by problems and most decidedly did not resolve the illegal alien issue in one fell swoop.

Western European states also consider temporary foreign worker policies

germane to their immigration control

strategies. Fewer and fewer Western European officials seem to recall today that it was the guestworker idea from which so many of their current migration dilemmas arose. Few appear to remember that Western European employers and governments actively recruited foreign workers until 1973 or so.

Some scholars and officials would hold that the reverse is true, that the cause of illegal immigration is unmet employer demand and that, if only temporary foreign workers were admitted to take those

Key Trends in Migration to Europe since 1970

The great watershed events in the post-1945 history of international migration to Europe were the domino-like decisions from 1972 to 1975 to curb most further foreign worker recruitment. These curbs did not apply to community workers in various member states of the European Community, nor within the Nordic Community, and there were other exceptions, such as continuing recruitment of seasonal foreign workers in France and Switzerland. Roughly concurrently with the recruitment curbs, Western European states—some more grudgingly than

others—came around to acceptance of the principle of family reunification rights for resident aliens. In some instances, significant family reunification had occurred prior to the recruitment curbs. Indeed, this growing reality contributed to decisions to stop or curb further recruitment. European governments belatedly began integration policies. Acceptance of family reunification was viewed as part and parcel of integration. The third prong in Western European policymaking at this juncture was the advent of an effort to deter illegal migration. Recruitment curbs, integration of resident aliens and their families, and prevention of illegal

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growth of populations from more culturally and physically distant countries. The number of Spaniards in Germany declined while the Turkish population grew.

Whereas in Western Europe there were roughly two employed to one economically inactive alien residents prior to 1970, this ratio was reversed by the mid-to- late 1980s, partially because of the

continuing arrival of foreign worker dependents and of births to resident aliens. But alien unemployment was rare until the recession of the mid-1970s. By the 1980s, as suggested by Table 1, rates of foreign worker unemployment typically far exceeded rates for citizens. Foreign workers were disproportionally ad

versely affected by the massive layoffs stemming from recession and economic restructuring after 1973. This was due to their concentration in employment sectors particularly vulnerable to recession, such as the building industry, as well as their generally lower levels of professional qualification and education. For instance, many of the foreign workers in automobile manufacturing had been recruited for assembly line work. When robots replaced teams of finishing painters in plants like Renault-Flins, the unemployed foreigners had few prospects for reemployment in industry or for

retraining. Most lacked the educational background to find employment

in computer-assisted manufacturing

(Miller 1986a).

Table 12.

Total Immigration in the European Union

Member State 1989 1990 1991 1992

Belgium 54.149 62.682 67.460 66,763

Denmark 38.391 40.715 43.567 43,337

Germany 1522,190 1256.250 1182.027 666,585

Greece 38.644 42.021 24.346 32.132

Spain 33.910 33.988 24.320 38.882

France 94.855 102.108 110.867

Ireland 33.300 40.800

Italy 81.201 168.754 128.935

Luxembourg 9.143 10.281 10.913 10.698

Netherlands 98.916 117.350 120.237 116.928

Portugal 13.700

United Kingdom 249.752 288.787 288,522 215.900

"Total" 2.128.285 2,150,973 2,035,236 1,317,784


France are available and, from the standpoint of immigration control, also are quite encouraging.

As seen in Table 14, asylum applications skyrocketed in France, reaching a high point of 61,422 in 1989. In 1988 and

1989, the specialized French agency for

refugees—known by its acronym OFPRA—received a large budget increase. The additional monies were spent to modernize procedures and to recruit and train additional personnel. This, in turn, enabled more decisions to be taken, and the number of decisions nearly tripled from 1989 to 1990. The average time that applications took to be adjudi

cated decreased to less than six months.

Table 15 indicates that the applicant recognition rate also plummeted in the late 1980s and early 1990s, although France continued to recognize a higher percentage of asylum applicants than Germany. The quickening of the average adjudication duration may have had a deterrent effect upon frivolous claims. However, roughly simultaneously, the French stopped the automatic grant of employment permits to asylum applicants.

Recent trends in asylum applications in Germany and France suggest that revisions of rules and procedures and beefing up personnel do make a difference.

Table 1.

Unemployment Rates of Nationals and Nonnationals

in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden, by Age

(below and above 25 years of age)

as well as by EEC and Non-EEC Origin, 1991

Nationals Foreigners

Above Below Total Above Below EC Non-EC Total

25 25 25 25 Nationals Natonals

France 7.8 19.4 8.7 15.5 25.8 9.5 22.8 16.7

Germany 3.2 3.8 3.7 8.1 7.1 4.3 9.6 8.0

Netherlands 5.7 10.4 6.6 22.3 31.7 7.8 32.6 24.0

Sweden 1.9 5.7 2.4 5.8 11.5 4.41 8.52 6.6

1Nordic Countries

2Non-Nordic Countries.

Source: Heinz Werner, Integration of Foreign Workers into the Labour Market-France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, Geneva: ILO, 1994, p.51.

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The growth and persistence of resident alien unemployment profoundly affected Western Europe. It contributed to the growth of anti-immigrant movements. One of the paradoxes of the period from 1975 to 1985 is that massive resident alien and citizen unemployment did not end the illegal migration and illegal alien employment that had become significant in a number of Western European states prior to 1973. One key factor behind this was the difficulty of rapidly altering employer behavior. As many foreign workers gained more secure legal status, their rights of residential and labor market mobilty increased. For example, during this time many seasonal workers in Switzerland acceded to resident alien status. As they did, they left their jobs for better paying and more attractive (e.g., day jobs rather than night shifts) employment. The key to any seasonal worker or guestworker program is to restrict the labor market and residency mobility of foreign workers, thereby ensuring certain employers access to labor outside the wage and working conditions constraints set by normal national (and now regional) labor market mechanisms. At the same time, Swiss employers faced dwindling access to legal seasonal labor as their government, under considerable political pressure from anti-immigration campaigns throughout the 1970s, reduced
annual contingents of seasonal workers. Seasonal foreign worker admissions fell from 206,000 in 1964 to 90,000 by 1976 (Miller 1986b). Many Swiss employers probably illegally hired foreign workers rather than restructure their employment practices.

Hence, the paradoxical coexistence of high resident alien unemployment and continuing illegal alien employment arose. Some governments began efforts to improve manual labor conditions, such as the French in their revalorisation du travail manual program of the mid-to-late 1970s, but the effects of several decades of massive foreign worker recruitment upon labor markets and employment practices could not be undone quickly. It is difficult to say whether employer recourse to illegal alien labor rose or fell across Western Europe from 1975 to 1985 as compared to the previous decade. The suspicion is that it fell in France but rose in Germany and Switzerland.

Another key change in employment characteristics was the dramatic increase in foreign labor employment in service industries and the decline in the

traditional sectors of foreign worker concentration—manufacturing and construction. The French data in Table 2

minorities like the Kabyles who historically emigrated to France in dispro-portionally high numbers relative to other Algerians.

Realistically, a more frightening scenario concerning Algeria would be spillover of the violence across the Mediterranean to metropolitan France. This has not yet happened, but there is ample historical precedent. The French government already has taken steps to round up suspected Islamic militants. This cannot be said to endanger the rights of Algerian residents of France any more than it does those of French citizens. After several years of armed conflict and a steadily mounting human toll, however, a resolution to the impasse has not materialized. This casts a long shadow over the future of North Africa and Europe.

Assessing West European Capacity

to Prevent Illegal Migration

Nightmare scenarios over Algeria aside, there are many reasons to expect Europe to cope with its migration dilemmas. The imagined Fortress Europa cannot come about short of a revolution. French Minister of the Interior Pasqua may declare that the goal of his government is zero

immigration, but this represents ill-

considered rhetoric, nothing more. Western Europeans realize they have a great stake in immigrant integration. Indications suggest that they will do more not less to achieve this goal in the future. Western European democracies, as Table 12 indicates, are scarcely hermetically-sealed societies. Quite significant numbers of aliens enter legally each year. It is the illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers that most worry Europeans.

On the asylum front, virtually all Western European states have streamlined asylum procedures. Critics worry that governments have gone too far, thereby endangering respect for nonrefoulement. They also worry about displacement of asylum-adjudication to the fledgling democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.

Table 13 reveals a drop in overall asylum applications in 1993. A consistent pattern, however, did not emerge as asylum applications in the Netherlands, for instance, rose. Nonetheless, reforms undertaken in Germany and France in recent years clearly have had the desired effect. Apparently, asylum applications are down more than 50 percent in Germany since the revision of asylum law in July 1993 (Papademetrios 1994). Better data on the effects of recent reforms on

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Table 11.

Foreign Employees in the F.R. of Germany by Occupational Qualification 1977-1992 (indices 1980 = 100)

Level of Qualification Foreign Employees

Total EC Nationals

1977 1987 1992 1977 1987 1992

Trainees 87 157 292 92 82 93

Employees with

low qualification 96 74 94 103 62 60

Middle-level qualification 93 87 109 94 78 82

Graduate employees 86 98 122 84 96 115

Total Employees 95 80 102 100 67 67

Absolute Numbers (in 1000) 1889 1589 2036 730 492 494

Source: Heinz Werner

Table 2.

Evolution of Employed Aliens and Citizens in France by Sector from 1975 to 1990

Economic Sector 1975 % Aliens 1990 % Aliens Evolution from 1975 to 1982 (%)

Total French Aliens

Total Employment 20,943,900 7.2 22,232,974 5.8 + 6.1 + 7.7 -14.2

Agriculture 2,108,680 4.1 1,250,994 3.5 -40.7 -40.3 -48.8

Industry 8,074,040 12.3 6,692,221 9.0 -17.1 -14.1 -38.8

(of which Automobile) 499,010 17.3 394,492 10.8 -20.9 -14.7 -50.7

(of which Building) 1,906,070 21.3 1,638,468 16.3 -14.0 - 8.6 -34.0

Services 10,761,180 4.1 14,289,759 4.5 +32.8 +32.1 +49.0

Source: Adapted from Claude-Valentin Marie, Restructuration du système productif, emploi des étrangers et

travail illegal: L'experience française

How, though, would a million Algerians flee to France? It would have to occur as a trickle, gradually, and this is happening. Some Algerian citizens with valid residency permits are returning, as are dual citizens. But as in Bosnia, most who might want to get to France cannot; they stand a better chance making it to Tunisia or Morocco. The French, and probably the Spaniards and Italians as well, will not permit a mass spontaneous arrival of tens of thousands of Algerians. They will use their militaries, if necessary, to prevent it. In the French case, in particular, one cannot ignore historical precedents. Draconian measures were taken against French citizens of Algerian Muslim origin as late as 1961 albeit in the context of the Algerian war (Einaudi 1991).
At this point, the Fortress Europa image might seem apt after all. But, even in this acute scenario, it is not. The French will allow entry to those entitled (the potential numbers are unclear). They will accommodate as many refugees as possible, but there is an undefined limit beyond which they will not go. Governmental handling of the Algerian impasse may damage integration goals. The arrival in power of an Islamic government would certainly complicate Franco-

Algerian relations and management of transnational Franco-Algerian society. It is conceivable that fundamentalist influence would grow amongst resident aliens and citizens of North African Muslim origin, but the secularizing influence of French culture should not be underestimated. It appeals particularly to Berber

are emblematic of a broader trend. The implications of this massive shift for nascent European efforts to curb illegal immigration are important. Aliens

increasingly found employment in firms and sectors more prone to illegal

alien employment. Additionally, the

development of temporary employ-

ment, manpower leasing, and—more

generally—greater flexibility in labor market and management practices created new and more extensive illegal employment opportunities. The decline of unions probably was both a cause and an effect of these trends.

This decade of stabilization also witnessed the affirmation of Islam. This was part and parcel of the settlement process.

As more and more immigrants gained secure residency and employment rights and as prospects for return home dimmed, they built mosques, formed

Islamic associations, and created Islamic educational and cultural institutions. This affirmation was aided in many cases by Western European governments and employers, in some instances as part of integration policy, in others to forestall the appeal of trade unions and radical political movements (Kepel 1987). Homeland governments and states like Libya and Saudi Arabia also played key roles. There were violent spillovers of homeland politics to Western Europe as well as the penetration of Islamic fundamentalism. Many Western Europeans, in mounting apprehension over the long-

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and Soviet successor states seek to export their labor much like East Asian states do. The Vienna Conference on East-West Migration in January 1991, which was backed by the Council of Europe, pushed the idea of bilateral foreign labor programs. But there are no current expectations for large-scale

recruitment of foreign labor from

Central and Eastern Europe. Long-term labor market prospects for blue-collar workers in Western Europe are grim, despite the much ballyhooed aging

of European societies within the

European Union. (The total population of the European Union—347 million—is

expected to fall to 340 million by 2025). The European Commission has recommended that third country nationals, e.g., Turkish residents of Germany or Algerian residents of France, be granted

priority in access to employment if job vacancies occur anywhere in the EU (Commission of the European Communities 1994, p.34). As Heinz Werner has argued, and as suggested by the contrasting trends in unskilled and skilled employment of foreign workers from member states within the EU in Table 11, the future of labor migration belongs mainly to professional-level migrants.

All in all, the scenario of mass unwanted migration seems much more plausible for

migration from the South than from the East. Demographic pressures and networks make the prospect real. Here again the worst has not yet happened. The Algerian impasse, however, is most worrisome. Already in 1990, middle-class Algerians (e.g., professors) were getting out (Talha 1990). Now millions want out and some, like Sheik Turabi in Sudan, have predicted that up to four million refugees will flee the establishment of an Islamic government. Unlike the former Socialist Minister of the Interior, who declared that France would not accept mass migration from Algeria, the current Foreign Minister, M. Juppé, estimates that France might receive one million refugees from Algeria in the event of regime change (Eizenstat 1994).

There is a great deal of uncertainty because, under the Evian Accords that enabled Algeria's independence, Algerian citizens born before 1962 (when Algeria was legally part of France) are entitled to request French citizenship (Abdi 1994). And, the numbers of Algerian citizens requesting asylum are growing both in France and throughout the EU. In 1991, 1,730 and in 1992, 8,158 applications were made by Algerians in the EU (Commission of the European Community 1994, p.9, Annex I).

term political integration of Muslim immigrants, viewed this religious affirmation with alarm. The anti-immigrant movements of the 1980s and 1990s often had anti-Islamic as well as antisemitic overtones.

Another hallmark of the stabilization decade was a North-South convergence within Western Europe. The countries of massive emigration in Southern Europe prior to the 1970s became significant countries of immigration. In part, this was due to closing of the development gap between countries like Italy

and Germany within the European Community. In part, this was due to the recruitment curbs instituted in Northern Europe. Foreign workers, who might have gone to France or Belgium in the 1960s, went to Italy or Spain instead.

Within a decade, Spain, Italy, Greece, and even Portugal became immigration lands in their own right and confronted many of the immigration control questions faced by their partners to the North. This inter-European Community convergence in immigration circumstances, while very uneven, created more of an objective basis for inter-European state cooperation and coordination on questions and issues of prevention of unwanted

immigration than earlier. Nevertheless,

enormous differences between Western European states persisted by the mid-to- late 1980s in migration policy and the Southern European states generally manifested less alarm over international migration than Northern Europe. There may be empirical reasons for this; annual rates of legal migration vary sharply in Western Europe, from more than 1 percent per year in Germany (more than 1 million newcomers in a population of 81 million), to 0.5 to 0.6 percent in the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, to 0.1 to 0.3 percent in Southern Europe.

For all the North-South convergence, Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, and Portuguese tended to view international migration somewhat differently and more generously. Their permeability to illegal immigration and the relative complacency about it deeply worried immigration officials in such countries as France. Ultimately, this disjuncture would impede efforts by European Union member states to coordinate policies towards illegal immigration in the 1990s. While the spring 1994 postponement sine die of the elimination of international frontiers foreseen under the Single European Act [SEA] was attributed to technical reasons, lurking in the background were the concerns of Northern Europeans that their Southern European Union partners sim

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ply are not far enough along the path to controlling illegal immigration to risk elimination of frontier controls.

One final defining feature of the period bears underscoring, particularly in light of the Fortress Europa image. While Western European governments clearly became drastically more restrictive in terms of foreign worker admissions by 1975, more and more legally-admitted aliens gained greater security of residency and employment rights. This constituted a major achievement for European democracy, as it was long unclear that many foreign workers would be allowed to renew residency and employment permits. Most foreign workers secured greater residential and labor market freedom by qualifying for more favored

status through continuous employment and residency.

By the early 1960s, the Swiss government for instance, had come under pressure from the Italian government to accord a more liberal status to long-term Italian seasonal workers. The 1964 revision of the Italo-Swiss bilateral labor agreement enabled more and more Italian seasonal workers, who technically are not residents and thereby are not counted as part of the total population of Switzerland, to qualify for resident alien status. The

movement for migrant rights began in the 1960s and, in some respects, resembled the civil rights movement in the United States. It made great progress across Western Europe by 1985. The French government's decision in 1984 to accord qualified resident aliens a ten-year, automatically renewable residency and employment permit—le titre unique—represented one capstone of a process long in the making.

The advances made in legally-admitted alien rights conferred a more liberal

status upon resident aliens in Western Europe that narrowed transatlantic differences pertaining to resident alien status. While the goals of Western European integration policies were not achieved in many areas, significant progress, as attested to by the German data in Table 3, was made in terms of resident alien rights. Western European strategies of immigration control were predicated on the notion that prevention of illegal immigration was complementary to integration of resident aliens.

Table 10.

Number of Places Offered to Vulnerable Groups from Former Yugoslavia by the End of April 1993/EU

and Other Receiving Countries (figures marked with + do not include family members).


Belgium 200

Denmark 200

France 1,320

Germany 17,000

Greece 150

Ireland 340

Italy 400

Luxembourg 10

Netherlands 200+

United Kingdom 1,000+


Australia 250

Austria 200+

Canada 500

Czech Republic 500

Finland 72+

Malaysia 100

New Zealand 50+

Sweden 150+


(incl. refugees

and temporary

protected status 5,635

Turkey 270

USA 1,000

Source: Commission of the European Communities, On Immigration and Asylum Policies, p.6, Annex

ment from Poland in particular. The number of Poles officially admitted as temporary workers in agriculture and other industries in Germany has soared to between 200,000 and 300,000. Many of the new temporary foreign workers are contract workers and trainees. Many are skilled. There are some indications
that Western European states are reorienting foreign labor policies to the East, particularly to Poland.

Highly-skilled and professionally-

educated workers are in demand in many Western European countries despite high unemployment. Many Eastern European

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Table 3.

Improvements in Residence Status of Germany's Aliens

1982 1992

Aliens with residence permit of any kind 3,245,959 3,870,765

Aliens from non-EC countries

with a limited residence permit. 1,482,9449 99,685

(=45.7%) (=25.8%)

Aliens from non-EC countries

with an unlimited residence permit. 804,975 991,799

(=24.8%) (=25.6%)

Aliens from non-EC countries

with a right of residence. 40,178 809,236

(=1.2%) (=20.9%)

Aliens with an EC residence permit 917,862 1,070,045

(=28.3%) (=27.6%)

Aliens with a consolidated residence status

(items 3, 4, and 5). 1,763,015 2,871,080

(=54.3%) (=74.2%)

Source: Survey of the Policy and Law Concerning Foreigners in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1993, p.24.

Table 9.

Balkan Refugees

Outside Former Yugoslavia. Within Former Yugosalvia

(Aug. 1992 est) (Sept. 1992 est.)


Location Location Croatia B&H TOTAL

Austria 57,500 Croatia 271,798 335,985 607,783

Belgium 1,800 UN-Areas 87,000 87,000

Czech Rep. 4000 Servia 162,337 252,130 414,467

Denmark 1,795 B&H 93,000 588,000 681,000

Finland 1,892 Montenegro 6,743 50,857 57,600

France 1,108 Slovenia 1,000 69,000 70,000

Germany 220,000 Macedonia 2,500 28,000 30,500

Greece 7 TOTALS 624,378 1,323,972 1,948,350

Holland 6,300

Hungary 50,000

Ireland 10

Italy 17,000

Lux. 1,200

Norway 2,617

Poland 1,500

Spain 120

Sweden 47,600

Switz. 70,450

Turkey 15,000

U.K. 2,000

Others 30,013

Total 531,912

Source: The Economist, September 19, 1992, p.66.

The Crisis of International Migration to Europe

A confluence of five factors ushered in a new period by 1990. Historical period-ization is highly interpretative and

seldom uncontroversial. Many of the hallmarks of the current migratory period can be traced back to the 1970s or earlier. On the whole, there was more continuity than discontinuity between

what are labelled here the decade of stabilization and the current period. However, since the late 1980s, a new sense of urgency over international migration has set in. Crisis is too strong a term if one compares the contemporary situation to that which existed in Europe in the late 1930s. What the term connotes here is the growing saliency of international migration issues in domestic and foreign policies by roughly 1990.

would conceivably use their armies

to stanch unwanted entry. As a well-

informed Dutch official once put it, there are three scenarios for migration from the East—bad, worse and catastrophic. Contingency planning for the latter scenario includes utilization of the military.

It is too early to declare Voelkerwanderung from the East a false alert. But contemplation of further variables and factors also suggest it is not going to happen in disruptive ways. Several Western European countries have authorized fairly substantial temporary foreign employ

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tries in EU member states more than doubled between 1991 and 1992. The goal of CSCE is to ensure respect for rights and maintenance of a minimal level of personal welfare so that such requests become transparently frivolous.

Alas, CSCE has not worked as hoped. The breakup of Yugoslavia has created an estimated 3.8 million refugees and displaced persons. As Table 9 suggests, significant numbers of persons fleeing the fighting in Yugoslavia have been accorded refugee status in Western Europe, particularly in Germany. Others have been afforded temporary protected status as seen in Table 10. However, without wishing to appear insensitive to the suffering of others, the key lesson of the

Yugoslav crisis, if it is not to premature to draw one, is that most refugees and displaced persons have not reached Western Europe, despite Trieste being a day's drive from Sarajevo. Visas are required for the refugees and displaced to get out. Most do not get them. Instead, the bulk of the victims of war and ethnic cleansing have had to find haven nearby in Croatia or UN-protected safe havens. Thus, while the Yugoslav tragedy testifies to the shortcomings of the CSCE launched with such fanfare, perhaps it also suggests what may be the pattern for the future.

Most observers agree that there is enormous potential for Yugoslav-style conflict from Bosnia to the Caucuses and throughout Soviet successor states. It is not farfetched to imagine millions and millions of additional refugees and displaced persons being created in the next decade. Like the Bosnians, many of these hypothetical refugees would undoubtedly prefer to find haven in Western Europe and other Western democracies. However, they probably will be unable to reach Western Europe and will have to find safe havens nearby. In extremis, confronted with an imminent mass

inflow of aliens—be they refugees or not—of such magnitude as to endanger security, most Western European states

International migration increasingly was viewed as linked to national security and moved up the agendas of high-ranking officials—including diplomats. Indeed, the idiom of the international migration specialist—terms like "boatpeople," "guestworkers," "nonrefoulement" and "asylum-seekers" that were not in most persons' vocabularies several decades earlier—increasingly had become the idiom of diplomacy. There was a marked increase in diplomatic efforts on the international migration front beyond what there had been during the Cold War era. In part, this was imputable to a long overdue redefinition of national security as the threat of East/West military confrontation waned.

The asylum-seeker influx had reached perceived crisis proportions in Germany by 1980. What is important is how rapidly asylum requests snowballed. As late as the early 1970s, as seen in Table 4, there were minuscule numbers of asylum-seekers. The increase was clearly linked to the recruitment curbs, but there also were numerous adverse developments in political order around the world. The global refugee population doubled in the 1980s.

Rightly or wrongly, the asylum-seeker influx undercut the credibility of

Western European immigration control strategies. As Table 5 indicates, the vast majority of asylum-seekers were not found to be bona fide refugees entitled to asylum. Adjudication of claims and maintenance of the claimants cost enormous sums. Further, more than one-half of those claimants denied refugee status managed to stay on, thereby frustrating immigration control goals. The perception that asylum-seekers were circumventing the recruitment curbs through abuse of asylum provisions caused a political firestorm that today still threatens the viability of the international

refugee system. Its sustainability

vitally interests the United States as well as Europe.

The second factor contributing to a qualitative change was the collapse of Communist systems. Since the early 1970s

—the time of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment in the United States—Western

democracies had pressed for softening of the rigid mobility controls imposed by Communist governments upon their citizenries. German Ostpolitik, US-Soviet détente and signing of the Helsinki

Accords gradually opened the door to emigration from the Soviet bloc states. During the 1980s, as seen in Table 6, Germany granted ever greater numbers of visas to citizens of Soviet bloc states. This

Table 8.

Number of Asylum-Seekers from Central

and Eastern Europe

(Excluding Former Yugoslavia)

in the European Union

Country of Origin 1991 1992

Bulgaria 15,094 33,203

Czechoslovakia 1,873 3,109

Hungary 646 1,163

Poland 5,899 5,979

Romania 50,872 111,346

TOTAL 76,375 156,792

Source: Commission of the European Communities,

On Immigration and Asylum Policies, p.5, Annex 1.

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Table 4.

Asylym-Seekers in Western Europe 1974-1994




cordon sanitaire. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak Republics have signed association treaties with the European Union. Their nationals will benefit from visa-free entry into the European Union (although the United Kingdom has not been cooperating on many immigration-related initiatives). The unstated quid pro quo is cooperation with EU member states in regulation of international migration. Specifically, readmission treaties have

been signed (or prepared) that will enable states such as Germany to deport unauthorized alien entrants to the countries through which the detained illegal entrant transited.

Implementation of the readmission agreements has been difficult and incomplete, but a conceptual and legal system has been put in place that should facilitate exclusion of detected illegal residents. This has long been the achilles heel of Western European migration control strategies—a problem to which Americans should pay a great deal of attention as they reform asylum procedures. Recent reporting on bilateral Polish-German and Czech-German cooperation in control of illegal immigration suggests numerous barriers to effective cooperation remain, but progress also has been made.

All four of the buffer states have become significant immigration lands in their own right. Hundreds of thousands of Russians and others enter Poland to barter goods or to work temporarily in much the same way that Poles did in Germany in the late 1980s. Much will depend on whether these buffer states develop their governmental capacity to regulate international migration. The European Union states are encouraging them to do so through fora like the Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna conferences and more discretely by informally linking economic assistance and good relations to effective cooperation on regulation of international migration.

Another prong of proactive policy concerns steps to prevent the generation of refugees. The Treaty of Paris, to which the United States is a signatory, created the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe [CSCE]. The third basket of this treaty in essence envisaged the creation of a zone from the Urals to the Atlantic in which there would be minimal criteria for respect of human rights and personal welfare. If attained, the criteria theoretically would preclude bona fide requests for asylum by persons living in the zone. As Table 8 indicates, asylum applications by persons from five Central and Eastern European coun










Source: Jonas Widgren

Table 5.

Asylum-Seekers Recognized as Refugees in Germany 1979-1993 (%)

1979 16.5%

1980 12.0%

1981 7.7%

1982 6.8%

1983 13.7%

1984 26.6%

1985 29.2%

1986 15.9%

1987 9.5%

1988 8.6%

1989 5.0%

1990 4.4%

1991 6.9%

1992 4.3%

1993 (first six months) 2.1%

Source: Survey of the Policy and Law Concerning Foreigners, 1993, p.61

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same statistics record 550,583 foreigners as having broken German laws in 1992. Aliens comprised one third of all suspects. While aggregate crime statistics need to be interpreted with care as they include violations of immigration laws, and while sociological factors like the relative youth and lower socio-economic status of aliens in general must be considered, alien criminality clearly also

is contributing to the malaise over

migration (Federal Misistry of the Interior 1993).

While human smuggling obviously will be a long-term concern, steps are being taken to stanch it. Two other factors appear to mitigate against mass unwanted migration from the East. The first is demography. International migration largely involves young adults. Much of Eastern Europe's demographic profile is not that dissimilar from Western Europe although there are exceptions like Romania.2 One simply does not find the same demographic pressure to migrate that one finds in Egypt or Morocco, for example. Demography suggests that the threat of mass unwanted migration is much greater from the swath from Turkey to Morocco than from Eastern Europe.

Moreover, studies of illegal immigration underscore the importance of networks to illegal immigration. Networks can

be comprised of family, kin, fellow

villagers, or even fellow nationals who provide information about employment opportunities, offer lodging, and help aliens melt into an immigration society. In the case of the former Soviet bloc lands, they were cut off from most of the rest of the world, including Western Europe, until only a few years ago. This leads to a suspicion that networks are not in place to facilitate massive illegal migration from the East. Again the threat appears greater from the South than it does from the East because of the durable legacy of the guestworker period.

A further reason why Voelkerwanderung from the East has not materialized to the extent feared is proactive policy. Since 1990, Western European governments, including the European Union, have

stepped up efforts to ensure that Voelkerwanderung does not occur. This effort is multipronged, encompassing financial and other forms of assistance, bilateral and multilateral negotiations, and other initiatives. The undeclared strategy seems to be to fashion the traditional transition zone from Eastern to Western Europe into a kind of international migration buffer zone—an illegal migration

Table 6.

Visas Delivered to Citizens of Eastern Bloc States by Germany 1980-1989



















































































Adapted from Michael Vial and Werner Walzel Illegale Beschaeftingung, p.159.

*Estimate as of May, 1990

outflow probably contributed to the momentous events of 1989 and 1990. Mass exit of citizens of the German Democratic Republic through Czechoslovakia and Hungary to Austria triggered a fateful chain of events that led to an East German decision to open the Wall. Within a year, the euphoria over German national reunification had given way to the spectre of Voelkerwanderung.

A third factor contributing to change was the progress made toward implementation of the SEA. Within the Schengen Group (established to hasten progress towards realization of a single market), discussion of the modalities of eliminating internal frontiers had advanced.

While the SEA had been rapidly signed and ratified without consequential political opposition, some citizens feared that the elimination of internal frontier controls would result in large influxes of aliens from nearby states. The National Front in France, for instance, stoked the fear that the single market would result in a new influx of Turks from Germany, such as had happened during the legalization period of 1981 to 1983. While these fears for the most part seemed unfounded, they nevertheless contributed to a sense of unease.

The persistence of integration problems constituted a fourth factor. Immigrant disadvantage in housing, education, em

2This observation was first made by Georges Tapinos, the leading French immigration expert, in a speech at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria in April 1991.

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ployment, health, and other areas was nothing new. But these problems seemed more intractable by 1990 than they did fifteen or twenty years earlier. U.S.-style urban disturbances involving predominately immigrant-origin minority populations erupted in the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium. Muslim demonstrations against Salman Rushdie shocked many Western Europeans. A growing rift between the Islamic and Western worlds increasingly seemed to rend the fabric of Western European societies. The progression of the electoral inroads of extreme right anti-immigrant parties augured poorly for integration.

And then there were the illegal immigrants. Nobody knew how many there were, but their presence in certain industries and jobs persisted despite enforcement of employer sanctions, legalizations in some countries, and other steps.

A siege mentality set in, fostered in no small part by exaggerated fears of Voelkerwanderung. The Fortress Europa image was clearly exaggerated too. That the two could co-exist in the early 1990s was symptomatic of a profound malaise. Mercifully, Europe's migration problem can, and probably will, be managed in a fashion consistent with human rights and democratic values. One can best begin

to fathom this by examining the new barbarian invasion potential from Eastern Europe and beyond.

Why the New Barbarian Invasions Have Not Materialized from the East or the South

Table 7 reveals a steady increase in the numbers of East to West migrants. But many of these post-1989 immigrants are welcomed abroad. They are Jews migrating to Israel, ethnic Germans being reintegrated into German society, ethnic Greeks returning to Greece, and so on. Although both German and Israeli authorities suspect that a fraction of those emigrating from Eastern Europe and beyond have falsified their origins to qualify to emigrate, the overall numbers of ethnic kin, in principle, are finite. Despite the zeal shown by Israeli authorities to attract Jewish emigration from the former Soviet bloc, numbers of Jewish immigrants have declined sharply. The Israelis probably will not get the one or two million immigrants foreseen by former Prime Minister Shamir. The German government, perhaps because it bears the full cost of reintegrating the ethnic German Aussiedler, unlike the Is

Table 7.

Total Annual Immigration of Aliens to Western European States (EC and EFTA), 1985-1992

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

Regular registered

Immigration for Residence 650,000 720,000 760,000 910,000 1,080,000 980,000 1,020,000 1,240,000


immigration right 50,000 53,000 101,000 217,000 392,000 417,000 239,000 252,000

Asylum seekers 160,000 190,000 170,000 220,000 310,000 430,000 550,000 680,000

War refugees

from former Yugoslavia --- --- --- --- --- --- 42,000 370,000

Illegal immigration

(estimate) 50,000 65,000 55,000 90,000 150,000 210,000 280,000 370,000

TOTAL 910,000 1,028,000 1,086,000 1,437,000 1,932,200 2,037,000 2,131,000 2,912,000

Source: J. Widgren, Shaping a multilateral response to future migrations. In K. Hamilton (ed.), Migration and the New Europe,


raelis, has taken steps to limit the inflow. It has signed agreements with the Russian Federation to aid the reestablishment of the Volga Germans along the Volga River. It also has instituted an annual quota on the number of Aussiedler permitted to reintegrate into Germany.

Most aspiring migrants from Eastern Europe and beyond cannot qualify for privileged treatment on ethnic grounds. If they are to emigrate, they will need a visa or they will have to emigrate illegally. For most, visas will be difficult to come by. Illegal emigration is an option, but it is difficult and, for many, expen

sive. Thriving human smuggling rings have sprung up to funnel immigrants into Western Europe much as Chinese gangs do with illegal Chinese migrants to the United States. Indeed, punishment and prevention of human smuggling was one of the major goals of both the October 1991 Berlin Conference attended by twenty-seven West and East European countries and of the February 1993

follow-up meeting in Budapest.

According to German crime statistics, more than one-half of recorded offenses for smuggling of people in 1992 were perpetrated by aliens. Parenthetically, those

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