Is Italian Agriculture a “Pull Factor” for Irregular Migration—and, If So, Why?
Following the peak in irregular migration in 2015–2016 and given the stalemate over reforming the bloc’s asylum system, EU policymaking and debate has largely focused on strengthening border controls, increasing migrant returns, and curbing arrivals. Actions have been taken to engage with migrant-sending and transit countries to tackle the drivers, or “push factors,” of displacement and mobility, but much less has been done to tackle the “pull factors” for irregular migration to the European Union, despite efforts by the European Commission and others. These factors include the demand for migrant labor in key sectors of member states’ economies such as agriculture.
While the European Union and member states have taken legislative action to crack down on undeclared work, a coordinated drive to address the production system in a way that places labor rights at the heart of policymaking has thus far been lacking.
This event marks the launch of the report Is Italian Agriculture a “Pull Factor” for Irregular Migration—and, if so, Why?, authored by a team of researchers coordinated by the European University Institute’s Global Governance Program. The report analyzes the role of EU and Italian migration, asylum, anti-trafficking, labor, and agricultural policies, showcases good practices from the private sector, and includes comparative references to similar dynamics in Greece and Spain. Finally, recommendations to EU and national policymakers lay out ideas for a sustainable system which would benefit workers, producers, and consumers alike.
Giulia Laganà leads the Open Society European Policy Institute’s analysis and advocacy on EU policies on migration and asylum.
Anna Triandafyllidou is a professor at the Global Governance Program of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute.
Letizia Palumbo is a research fellow at the European University Institute.
Laura Corrado is the head of the Legal Migration and Integration Unit at the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission.
Brando Benifei is a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee at the European Parliament.
Prosper Doe is part of the Refugees and Asylum Seekers Movement in Caserta, Italy.
Nino Quaranta is the president of SOS Rosarno.
Marley Moynahan is the education director at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers / Fair Food Program.
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