Friday, 10 April 2020 07:20

Migrants Day and the pressure of mass migration

IOM has chosen this year Morocco to celebrate International Migrants Day. This is a strong sign lavished by the international organization for Morocco, both a country of emigration and a land of immigration.

The celebration of this day coincides this year with the publication of an alarming report by the United Nations agency responsible for refugees, which indicates that in 2014, a record of at least 3419 people died in the Mediterranean while a total of 207,000 migrants attempted the crossing.

This report crowns the Mediterranean as “the deadliest road in the world." 80% of departures are from the Libyan coast, including more than 60,000 from conflict areas in Syria and Iraq. They are followed by the Eritreans (34,561) fleeing a brutal political power that adds to the misery. They generally land on Italian and Maltese coasts.

Morocco, southern neighbor of Europe, has not escaped this migratory pressure. On several occasions the European Union congratulated Morocco on its new migration policy implemented since 2013, under Royal Instructions; a new clandestine migrant regularization campaign was launched with a desire to integrate, but also to acknowledge the efforts of the Moroccan authorities in the fight against illegal immigration to Spain, either North African or sub-Saharan.

This does not prevent, beyond the humanist discourse, Morocco, as a state from controlling its borders and enforcing its sovereignty over the incoming and outgoing traffic, with the duty to better manage its geostrategic position as an important partner in the Euro-Mediterranean scene.

In European countries, nationalist movements and extreme right parties have experienced in recent years a powerful thrust, affecting countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, traditionally very open and tolerant and whose economy withstand the crisis.

The nationalist discourse that preaches a return to Christian values and the defense of national identity is threatened by immigration (substitution of the population) and Islam is increasingly favorably received by European public opinion. This upward trend may in the future bring to power very restrictive policies on immigration, and even challenge some acquired rights of people of foreign origin as is the case in the Netherlands with the decision to cancel allowances to widows and orphans.

Finally, it must be said and repeated: stability, the end of conflicts and the economic development of the exporting countries of mass immigration remain the conditions for stopping the exodus, which may undermine many balances and endanger the lives of thousands of families, who after all, pursue a legitimate objective: the “search of a better life", while for others immigrating simply responds to the survival instinct when faced with wars and persecution.

 

By: Hamid Soussany

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