Kristina, from Ukraine, asks:
Taking into account that globalisation today affects immigration in all countries, how is European immigration policy going to evolve?
Sami Andoura, a researcher with the Our Europe think tank in Paris, responds:
What we must keep in mind is that one of the European Union’s greatest accomplishments is its area of free movement for people. This space makes it necessary to develop a response to external challenges such as clandestine immigration, but also to legitimate workers entering the European Union. We have seen this cause serious tensions, notably following the Arab uprisings in Tunisia and Libya, with waves of immigrants to the EU. There we realised that Europe is still divided.
In view of an ageing of European society, first of all, it must be seen that we are going to need immigrant workers from these countries; it would be a good thing. Immigration has to be seen as positive.
Nevertheless, faced with a potentially uncontrolled massive influx of immigrants, the EU must eventually have a coordinated response, and this has to be based on solidarity among the bloc’s member states, for example with a repartition of political refugees among the different EU countries.
And then there is another important step, which is to move towards a common asylum policy. We realise this all the more with political conflicts emerging in our immediate external neighbourhood; there has to be a common response to political asylum challenges in Europe.
For the moment we have divided national policies. We do not have a coordinated response, or even a common vision of what we would like to do together. This threatens what we have achieved internally, which is to say in the Schengen area, which allows people to move around freely.