The purpose of this contribution for the special issue of the Romanian Journal of European Studies on “South-Eastern Europe and the European Migration System: East-West Mobility in Flux” is to provide a sketch of the evolution of the European migration system and related European migration policies behind the lenses of the North-American experience. Why researching the North-American experience in this regard? The North-American system is considered ipso facto a point of reference for migration theory being the most documented international migration system which includes two traditional immigrant-receiving states as Canada and the United States. These countries show similarities as well as differences in terms of size, economic power and geopolitical influence of their immigrant streams (e.g. 26 per cent of Canada’s immigrants are European compared with only 10 per cent of those to the USA) (Massey et al., 1998). For migration system we rely on the definition of Kritz et. al. (1992: 15) according to whom an international migration system exists whenever “a network of countries is linked by migration interactions whose dynamics are largely shaped by the functioning of a variety of networks linking actors at different level of aggregation. The attention given to the role of institutional and migrant networks in channelling and sustaining migration is a key aspect of the system approach”. Migrant networks and institutional actors are then key features of the recent European immigration experience both at the local, national and supranational level of governance. The influence of evolving migration regimes and supranational institutions as the European Union is then a distinctive feature of the East-West mobility in comparison to the much studied American model. Transnational lifestyle patterns are also the result of top-down policy making approaches that can be observed in the East-West geographical context. A number of research topics thus make this comparative approach between the European and the US system timely and interesting for researching other regional (sub)systems: 1) first and foremost, the recent reshaping of the European migration space in light of the 2004 and 2007 Eastern enlargements; 2) the evolving typologies of migration flows in Europe that require some conceptualisation; 3) the resulting immigration policies and their symmetry/asymmetry in relation to the present migration patterns; and finally 4) the search for win-win solutions to manage immigrant integration for both the European and US migration regimes. Finally, South-Eastern Europe (SEE) attempts to being considered a “fully-fledged” region of the European migration system. Its streams of migration and resulting policy implementation show similarities and differences if compared with the experience of the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Therefore this overview might provide useful directions for further research and policymaking either in terms of conceptualisation of migratory flows or immigrant integration policies to be adopted in the SEE countries in the future to come.

Ruspini, P. (2009). The Evolution of the European Migration System in light of the North-American Experience. ROMANIAN JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, 7-8/2009, 11-17.

The Evolution of the European Migration System in light of the North-American Experience

RUSPINI P
2009

Abstract

The purpose of this contribution for the special issue of the Romanian Journal of European Studies on “South-Eastern Europe and the European Migration System: East-West Mobility in Flux” is to provide a sketch of the evolution of the European migration system and related European migration policies behind the lenses of the North-American experience. Why researching the North-American experience in this regard? The North-American system is considered ipso facto a point of reference for migration theory being the most documented international migration system which includes two traditional immigrant-receiving states as Canada and the United States. These countries show similarities as well as differences in terms of size, economic power and geopolitical influence of their immigrant streams (e.g. 26 per cent of Canada’s immigrants are European compared with only 10 per cent of those to the USA) (Massey et al., 1998). For migration system we rely on the definition of Kritz et. al. (1992: 15) according to whom an international migration system exists whenever “a network of countries is linked by migration interactions whose dynamics are largely shaped by the functioning of a variety of networks linking actors at different level of aggregation. The attention given to the role of institutional and migrant networks in channelling and sustaining migration is a key aspect of the system approach”. Migrant networks and institutional actors are then key features of the recent European immigration experience both at the local, national and supranational level of governance. The influence of evolving migration regimes and supranational institutions as the European Union is then a distinctive feature of the East-West mobility in comparison to the much studied American model. Transnational lifestyle patterns are also the result of top-down policy making approaches that can be observed in the East-West geographical context. A number of research topics thus make this comparative approach between the European and the US system timely and interesting for researching other regional (sub)systems: 1) first and foremost, the recent reshaping of the European migration space in light of the 2004 and 2007 Eastern enlargements; 2) the evolving typologies of migration flows in Europe that require some conceptualisation; 3) the resulting immigration policies and their symmetry/asymmetry in relation to the present migration patterns; and finally 4) the search for win-win solutions to manage immigrant integration for both the European and US migration regimes. Finally, South-Eastern Europe (SEE) attempts to being considered a “fully-fledged” region of the European migration system. Its streams of migration and resulting policy implementation show similarities and differences if compared with the experience of the new member states from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Therefore this overview might provide useful directions for further research and policymaking either in terms of conceptualisation of migratory flows or immigrant integration policies to be adopted in the SEE countries in the future to come.
Ruspini, P. (2009). The Evolution of the European Migration System in light of the North-American Experience. ROMANIAN JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES, 7-8/2009, 11-17.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/398635
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