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Impact Of Migration On European Politics - Essay Example

Immigrant numbers increased and they demanded more from their host nations. They argued that since they were citizens they also needed to have more rights. Immigrants with temporary citizenship began to demand permanent citizenship. When this was granted, they complained about the procedures of becoming citizens in the host nations. They wanted to be integrated into their new societies. In some instances, citizenship was denied and permanent residency granted (Hansen, 2007: 335). Then this was not enough because citizens had more privileges and enjoyed equal rights with the citizens of the host nation. As their number increased, immigrants had a bargaining chip. Immigrants were no longer satisfied with what they were given. In countries like Germany, immigrants were mainly recruited for labor. With the increased influx of immigrants, European nations had to device policies relating to immigrants. The influx of immigrants in Europe can be traced back to the 19th Century when Poles got attracted to the industrialization in Germany. Jews also moved to London since they were not welcomed in Russia and Eastern Europe. According to Hansen (2007: 331) immigration, changed European politics post 1945 when migrants were attracted by the thriving post war economy of Europe. The demand for labor led to immigration exodus into Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Initially immigration was within Europe. Immigrants expected to return to their countries but laws

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were put in place that prevented them from going back to their countries. This changed in the 1970’s when immigrants began coming from other parts of the world. With the rising number of immigrants, European nations had to come up with regulations that required the people coming from high migration potential countries have visas when visiting Europe (Bale, 2008: 323). Migrants who entered Europe illegally or without documentation were taken back to their countries. Immigration has led to debates on citizenship as a legal status and as an identity in Britain and Germany (Joppke, 1999: 632). Experts on immigration agree that there need to be an understanding of the effects that immigrants and their families have on European politics. Politicians across the divide have argued about their party positions on migration and multiculturalism. This has led to the creation of policies by political parties in a bid to beat their competitors and increase their parties positioning among the electorate. Political parties are at the center of European policies on migration because it is a sensitive issue (Geddes, 2003: 111). Van Der Brug and Van Spanje (2009: 325) state that political parties engage in immigration talks when it suits them to get votes. The governing parties direct immigration policies. Parties influence public policies. Ruling parties have constantly been under pressure to take a strong stance on matters of immigration and integration in Europe. The situation has been made worse by increased immigration and asylum seeking, threatened border security, the justice system, terrorism, stretched welfare and cultural differences. The media, civil society, party members, supporters, and voters also put pressure on political parties to act on immigration. Centre right parties have been opposed to immigration and integration as a threat in the wake of 9/11, London bombings and Madrid attacks. Centre right parties are usually pro immigration and integration and have been able to attract voters. In the 1980’s CDU-CSU-FDP were victorious in elections because they promised the electorate that they would do something about immigration. Germany has made it hard for


Impact of migration on European politics.
European politics has been dominated by immigration. Political parties jostling for power have used immigration as a voter enticing card. At the center of all this is citizenship to immigrants…
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