Friday, 22 September 2023 20:23

Spain: legislative elections and migration policy

Sunday, 06 December 2015

Migration is at the heart of interest for the key competing parties in the Spanish parliamentary elections, scheduled on 20 December 2015. The Spanish parties dedicated a considerable part to present their proposals, during the official launch of the election campaign.

Socialists: Spain needs immigration and diversity

The opposition Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), headed by Mr. Pedro Sanchez, made the migration issue a central focus in its election program. This included the broad lines of the party’s policy regarding migration, based on four pillars: promoting legal migration to foster the Spanish economy, developing a comprehensive integration policy for immigrants in Spain, particularly the youth of the second generation, facilitating the granting of Spanish nationality to immigrants residing for a long time, and benefiting from diversity induced by immigration.

In this framework, the party presented twenty one recommendations regarding migration policy, notably to nullify the law that restricts the illegal migrants’ right to health, integrate fully the migrants’ offspring, to strengthen their cognitive abilities, reform the nationality law, review rejection cases, and adopt an integration scheme to get the visa, instead of passing the test only.

Upon winning the government presidency, the PSOE plans to upgrade the administrative legislations to facilitate the family gathering procedures. It also intends to set a strategy to combat racism and xenophobia, via a special training program for the public servants, and to reenact the cooperation strategy in migration with the countries of origin of migrants, as well as transit countries in order to manage migration movements.

The Right and the classic security approach

The right wing ruling People’s Party (PP) led by the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has chosen in its election program to focus on the common European policy regarding migration and asylum, continue supporting the procedures of expelling illegal migrants, in cooperation with their countries of origin.

In the chapter “foreign policy and defense policy”, the PP aims at adopting the policy of borders management, based on ultimate protection. The party considers that combating illegal immigration will be a gain for all European countries.

In a context marked by the refugee crisis in Europe, the party expressed its hope that the European Union (EU) will adopt a genuine migration and asylum policy, responding to all challenges and based on the principles of “solidarity and responsibility. In addition, to develop advanced technological means known as “smart borders” program and make progress in terms of information exchange about the threats to the outside borders of the EU.

Podemos: Citizenship for all

The radical leftist “Podemos” Party, led by Pablo Iglesias, a young political sciences professor, devoted a vast part of its program to migration. It includes setting a public migration policy based on a social and universal citizenship model. This will create citizenship gentrification for a better integration in society.

The party, which turned in a short period the third political power in Spain during the municipal elections in last September, intends to enact the plan to combat racism and xenophobia and all types of discrimination against Spaniards or foreigners residing in Spain. 

According to the program of the party,  the electorates will upgrade media campaigns to enable migrants to have access to public services, and put an end to racial profiling. Podemos will also exert pressure on the central government to close migrants’ detention centers and strictly oppose the creation of a new center.

Mohamed Saibari


(Translated by the ccme's newsroom)

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