«М57 МИГРАЦИОННЫЕ МОСТЫ В ЕВРАЗИИ: Сборник докладов и материалов участников II международной научно-практической кон- ференции Регулируемая миграция – реальный путь сотрудничества ...»
The triggers for the new adopted direction of the policy are both external and internal. At the end of October 2007, G. Reggiani, an Italian citizen died after spending two days in a hospital as a victim of a rape. The aggressor was identified as R. Mailat, Romanian citizen living in Italy. The event was triggering a large wave of protests and heated debates in Italy ending with the passing of a decree (Decree Law 181 from November 1) allowing for the expulsion of the EU's citizens considered a threat for the public security. Romanian authorities reacted to the passing of the Decree and in the same month (November 2001), a Government Decision establishes a plan of actions to support the Romanian citizens living in Italy. The extensive plan includes measures heading to manage the consequences of the Italian decree (as sending Romanian policemen in Italy to collaborate with Italian authorities), but also point to a broader concern to improve Romania's image abroad and to facilitate the insertion of the Romanian migrants into the host society. Although specifically concerned with Romanians living in Italy, the plan can be considered as a first step in a direction developed one year later, in 2008.
During 2007-2008, after several years of continuous economic growth under the conditions of a highly developed emigration, some economic sectors started to grapple with labour shortages (erban & Toth, 2007). Several envisaged solutions were publicly debated (i.e. converting/raising rural labour force participation, raising immigration quotas, luring migrants to return home (Voicu et al., 2008)). In this context, in February 2008, Romanian Government adopted “The plan of measures regarding the return of Romanian citizens working abroad”. Even though the plan was including three main points (i.e. better knowledge about migration for work;
informing and recruiting Romanians living abroad to work in Romania and stimulating circular migration), during 2008, Romanian authorities have invested effort in achieving only the second one. The result of the measures implemented in 2008 are difficult to evaluate, as one year later, hit by the effects of the economic crisis, Romania renounced to encourage the migrants coming home. Or as one newspaper3 commented on some of President Traian Bsescu’s statements: “The Presidential invitation for return home expired, Monday evening, at Budapest, after for month since it has been released.” Concluding remarks.
At the beginning of the 1990’s, after years of isolation during communism, Romanians were learning the rules of international circulation. The available models of mobility were scarce, but migration abroad has developed fast and by the end of the 20th century, the country was already one of the important sources of intra-European flows. Economic migration, mainly spontaneous and heading for European countries prevailed. If the population easily learned the rules of traveling and working abroad, Romanian authorities reacted slowly to the changes. During Cotidianul, 02.09.2009, http://old.cotidianul.ro/basescu_catre_romanii_din_strainatate_nu_mai_am_ curajul_sa_va_invit_sa_va_intoarceti_acasa-72171.html, accessed 01. the first decade after 1990, the main efforts were directed towards building a system of rules and institutions to manage the circulation of persons. Emigration has mainly grown unnoticed.
The beginning of the new millennium brought an important change. Romania started the negotiations to join EU. The process profoundly affected the country. It created the need of an accelerated process of reforms to adapt to the acquis communautaire. Moreover, after a long period of economic distress (see Zamfir et al. al, 2010), joining the supranational structure was widely supported by all political forces and the population (see Sandu, 2005). In this context, the Romanian authorities became more open to the pressures coming from European partners of negotiation.
2000 can be considered the starting point of a new phase in the migration policymaking. The prospect of a visa free circulation in the Schengen Space starting with the 1st of January 2002 increased the attention paid by authorities to international migration. Efforts to regulate the activity of companies recruiting Romanians to work abroad were accompanied by taking actions to accelerate the signing of bilateral labour agreements and to create new institutions to deal with contract migration. A second direction of action, more controversial, imposed conditions on the exit of Romanian citizens out of the country and used the limiting of the free right of circulation as mean to control the conformity of the stay abroad with the established rules. Although, all interventions headed to reduce the spontaneous economic migration, the phenomenon experienced a substantial increase, accompanied by a tendency of concentration at the level of few European destinations (Italy and Spain).
The accession to the EU put the premises for a new phase in the process of policymaking. The interest in starting phase of the labour migration decreased, as Romanians, also European citizens had the right to freely travel abroad. Instead Romanians living abroad were more incorporated into the policies as part of the nation, to be protected or convinced to return when needed.
Under the conditions of the current economic global crisis, it is difficult to anticipate if Romanian authorities will continue to keep on the long run the policy directions established after 2007.
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MANAGING MIGRATION IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC CRISIS –
CASE OF SPAIN
Spain is now deeply immersed in recession after its GDP contracted, resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, mostly in the construction and services sectors. With unemployment at about 25%, Spain is among the countries in Europe that have been worst affected by the economic crisis. To make matters even worse, the drastic budget cuts that have been undertaken by the centre-right government since the beginning of 2012 seem to have opposite effect up to now. As a consequence of the economic downturn for last few years growth of the immigrant population has been slowing down. The increase between 2010 and 2011 did not surpass the 70,000 mark. Between 2011 and 2012 the yearly increase was even smaller barely 60,000 (Arango et al., 2012).
The economic crisis that has affected Spain recently led to a profound transformation of its migratory model. This situation has generated tensions between policy mechanisms and current economic and social needs and demands (Ferrero Turrin y Lpez Sala, 2009). Therefore, successive Spanish governments made a considerable effort to reformulate many of the migration policy measures and adapt them to the new context. In the following sections I will outline principal changes in the Spanish migration policy undertaken as a response to the new economic and social conditions.
Management of labour force flows During the economic boom an increase in migratory flows and the demand for workers in certain economic sectors were accompanied by a series of initiatives designed to manage labour migrations. The main objective of this measure was meeting demands of the labour market (Aja et al., 2009). In this context, the emphasis on recruiting foreign workers abroad derived from this approach. The most importent instruments designed during the period of economic growth to manage labour migration to Spain and the access to the Spanish labour market ere (1) General System and (2) Collective Management of Hiring in the Countries of Origin (quota system)4.
When the economic crisis started the Spanish government has launched several political initiatives to counteract its negative effects on migration flows and migrant social and economic integration. Firstly, in order contain the arrival of new migrant workers the size of the foreign worker quotas was reduced considerably.
Secondly, the bilateral hiring agreements with the countries of origin has been suspended (Lpez Sala, 2010). Thirdly, in order to design new instruments adequate for the new economic context two reforms of the Spanish Immigration Law has been carried out in 2009 and 2011. The new legal framework established in 2011 restricts, among other measures, the geographical and sector scope for initial work and residence authorizations regulation (Arango et al. 2012). Finally, another measure undertaken consisted in restoring transitional period for the access to the labour market The General System is a mechanism of access to the Spanish labour market based on the demand of employers for workers to cover specific occupations for which there are no job-seekers. In general terms, to obtain a residence and work permit through this procedure, a specific job must be offered by an employer to a named individual residing abroad. Collective Management of Hiring in the Countries of Origin is a quota system developed by the Ministry of Labour. I takes into account the domestic employment situation and current demand on specific occupations. Each year the Ministry estimates the number of jobs that could be covered hiring abroad workers during a limited period of time (Requena y Stanek, 2010). In order to facilitate reuitement of foreign workers in their countries of origin, over the past few years a series of bilateral agreements were negotiated with Latin American, European and African countries (Ferrero and Lpez -Sala 2009).
of the Romanian nationals5. This decision was justified by the Spanish administration as a measure to reduce very large inflows of workers from this particular country into Spain at a time of extremely high levels of unemployment.
Voluntary return The second type of initiative aimed at assuaging the consequences of the economic crisis focused on creating incentives for migrants to return to their places of origin. There are currently three main programmes which deal with migrants willing to go back to their country of origin (Arango et al. 2012;
Requena, Stanek 2010).