Module II. The European Multinational and Multicultural Identity: assets and tensions, immigration and integration policies

3.1.1. A quick historical overview:

  • 1950-60: Workers arrived in their millions to fill gaps in European labour markets. National policies were fairly liberal. The numbers peaked in the early 1960s, creating a net European migration figure which is far higher than today's. These immigrants, mostly non-white, were not expected to stay.
  • Policies became restrictive from the 1970s on.  Satiation of labour market. 1973: Migration stop.
  • 1980’s: recession. Some possibilities remained: family reunification, studies, seasonal work… This left the asylum system to carry the weight of the migration wave.  The 1980s also brought about the accession of the Southern European states Greece, Spain, and Portugal, which faced initial restrictions in the movement of people
  • 1990’s: Germany (unification and close to Eastern-Europe) had the largest flows of migrants followed by the United Kingdom.
  • 2000: a number of governments have been revising their policies to take better account of employment and demographic needs.

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