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John Salt (2007)

Europe's Migration Streams: Implications and Policy Concerns

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 32, 3-4/2007, p. 469-504, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

The paper argues that a disaggregated approach to international migration in Europe is needed if we are to understand its implications for the economy and society. Migration flows are extremely varied, with people moving for different reasons, staying for different periods and fulfilling different roles. A novel framework for analysis is proposed which allows us to see the interaction between different types of movement, geographical scale and societal institutions at large. It assumes that both migrant streams and implication fields are dynamic. The framework relates four migrant entry streams – labour, family, students and asylum – to a set of four implication fields, in respect of the labour market and the provision of health, education and housing services. The scale and recent trends for each migrant stream are described for those European countries where data are available. The interactions between streams and implication fields are demonstrated in a series of structured tables. The relationships between migrant entry streams and the fields of labour market, education, health and housing are shown to be complicated and pose wide ranging policy dilemmas for governments at national and local levels. These relationships are particularly affected by the scale of flows in the individual streams which vary in importance from one country to another. Thus, governments are faced with the need to orientate their policies according to their particular constellation of flows which may be different from those of their neighbours.

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