Volume LI 2 - 2017
On the Migration Issue in Europe
Tiziana Caponio and Roberta Perna, pp. 245-263
Migration has come to represent a hot and contested topic in current political debates across Europe, revealing conflicting interests and concerns across and within Member States. By reconstructing three different although overlapping migration-related crises characterising Europe in the last fifteen years, i.e. the integration crisis since the early 2000s, the economic crisis since 2007 and, recently, the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, we suggest that they reflect the difficulty of Europe in coming to terms with being de facto a continent of immigration. Against national governments’ short-sightedness and in order to promote the reconstruction of Europe and of its relations with current and past migrants, we argue there is a urgent need to pay greater attention to both the EU and local levels. While the former should sustain a shift in political discourses and actions towards ‘intercultural integration’ as the keystone of Europe as continent of immigration, the latter constitute the very context in which economic, social and cultural interactions between immigrants and natives take place, and thus where ‘interculture’ and ‘integration’ may be realised on a daily basis.