Sunday, December 09, 2007
Dublin Seminar on Migration
[click the image to enlarge]
Have just been to Dublin, taking part in a seminar on migration put on by the Green Islands Network, supported by the European Parliament.
Kieran Coffe TD (equivalent of an MP: the Republic of Eire uses an electoral system that is consistent with modern democracy, so the Green Party there gets to Parliament and Government) stressed that immigration helps Ireland's economy, that the position at present is that to be born in Ireland is to be an Irish citizen, although that is prone to change. He stressed the need for more research, for awareness raising, and for a more transparent, fair and quick migrant assessment process.
Jocelyne le Boulicaut, from Brittany, a member of the European Green Party Working Group, had gathered views of member parties of the EGP. For a wide diversity of parties, there was a remarkable unity in seeking to treat migrants in a liberal and humane way. She identified Push factors like repression and war, and Pull factors such as standard of living. There was concern that donor countries were losing expertise, as Europe drew in their graduates.
No parties had addressed the question "What is sustainable migration?"
Harry Vassalo is leader of the Malta Green Party: a densely populated island with 400,000 residents and a far greater proportional influx of immigrants, many irregular, than the UK, because Maltese seamen pick them up when in danger at sea. The issue is being exploited by right wing politicians - in a country that has no love of the Right as a result of Nazi bombing.
There is a clear need for the EU to share the burden borne by Malta and Italy.
My contribution is above, a systemic overview. I hope it is pretty self-explanatory. 3 main categories, political asylum seekers fleeing conditions that we in the UK may have exported or condoned, and who must be granted absolute and swift acceptance. Environmental refugees, just beginning from Africa, and due to become major if we do not attack global warming; and economic migrants, driven by international economic divergence (rich-poor divide) who contribute to our economy, but who will be very vulnerable if a severe recession occurs.
On the right, in green, are the Green policies to ameliorate or heal these problems.