C – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors

Migration between Africa and Europe: Past and present policies of marginalization and integration

Event Details

  • Date

    Saturday, 27 June - 11:00 – 13:00

  • Venue
    tba
  • Theme
    C – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors
Convenor
  • Francesca Fauri (University of Bologna)
  • Donatella Strangio (Sapienza University of Rome)
Chair
  • Paolo Tedeschi (University of Milano-Bicocca)
Commentator
  • Stefano Bellucci (Leiden University)
Panelists
  • Francesca Fauri (University of Bologna)
  • Donatella Strangio (Sapienza University of Rome)
  • Antonio Ricci (IDOS Study and Research Centre)
  • Mark Mcquinn (School of Oriental and African Studies University of London)

Papers

  • Francesca Fauri
    A temporary minority: the progressive marginalization of Italians in Tunisia

    A temporary minority: the progressive marginalization of Italians in Tunisia

    The French colonial empire already extended over a large part of Africa when Tunisia became a French protectorate in 1881. This did not scale down the Italian presence in the country, although it certainly put an end to the hope of exploiting the Italian emigrant communities in the Mediterranean to widen Italy’s reign. Africa has always represented a natural destination for the Italian workforce thanks to long-standing peaceful relationships, commercial trade and knowledge exchanges. Since the 1880s, Sicilian and Sardinian farmers as well as their counterparts in Campania and Calabria, had been setting off for Africa, and Tunisia in particular, in search of jobs, better wages and the possibility of buy farming land. However, at the turn of the 20th century, data showing the growth of the Italian presence started to worry France, which soon implemented a policy specifically aimed at discouraging the Italian settlement and boosting the French one, by cancelling many of the privileges enjoyed by the Italians. Their progressive marginalization had begun and it became irreversible after the Second World War, with the repatriation of all Italian settlers in Tunisia.
  • Donatella Strangio
    Antonio Ricci
    Africa calls Europe. The case of the Senegalese in the second post-war period in Italy

    Africa calls Europe. The case of the Senegalese in the second post-war period in Italy

    Africa is the continent where the smallest percentage of the population has emigrated freely; the continent where the greatest percentage of the inhabitants still lives in the same country of birth and the continent with more pockets of absolute poverty; the continent where those living in poverty are destined to continue to decrease in percentage and increase in absolute terms; the continent with the relatively greater urbanization and where many areas of various countries are on the road to new infrastructural and agricultural colonization by old and new financial and commercial powers. Given the situation described above in Africa, given the permanent need for Europe's labor force, it is likely that in the coming decades the migration flow will be greater from Africa towards Europe, structural and continuous. In particular, the phenomenon of forced migration from all over Africa to the Mediterranean and Europe will be even more relevant. In the light of this a recent research will be discussed, conducted mainly in the Matam region, which will be articulated in a preliminary analysis of Senegalese migratory models and of the diaspora (mainly European and Italian) with the aim of tracing, on the basis of available data , a reasoned mapping. The first Senegalese to settle in Europe were probably soldiers of the French colonial army who, after the end of the Second World War, decided to settle in Marseille to work as sailors or in any case as employees of the various services necessary for the operation of the great Mediterranean port. The Italian case represents a paradigmatic example of socio-economic integration achieved in recent decades in Southern EU countries not only by Senegalese migrants but also by those from the rest of Sub-Saharan African communities.
  • Mark Mcquinn
    Key changes in Europe towards migration and migrants from Africa

    Key changes in Europe towards migration and migrants from Africa

    The presentation will discuss key changes in the policies, practices and attitudes of European governments, civil society organisations and citizens towards migration and migrants from Africa. It will assess the extent to which classical liberal humanitarianism, drawing on the perspectives of Henri Dunant in the 19th century, and based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and unity, are under threat. The paper argues that an understanding of the history of migration to Europe from Africa, from the birth of classical liberal humanitarianism in the late 19th century is vital if effective and equitable policies are to be formulated to integrate the current influx of migrants. It argues that although the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) at the OECD in Paris is providing some effective programmes aimed at integrating African migrants into different European countries, a much more coherent, cohesive and historically sensitive approach is necessary. There is a disconnect between the provision of humanitarian aid – as a short term response to migration - and programmes and policies aimed at the long term integration of migrants. This is leading to division amongst European government and civil society organisations and chaotic provision of assistance for African migrants. A complicating factor is the rise of right-wing populism in influential European countries. This rise has stimulated a move to the provision of European aid for securitisation of donor states and borders. The securitisation of aid is also leading to the criminalisation of humanitarianism and solidarity with migrants in Europe. In overall terms, therefore, a harmonized direction from European governments and civil society organisations relating to migration and migrants is lacking. Different directions concerning migration policies are emerging. With the emergence of these different directions, the ideals of ‘classical’ European humanitarianism - based on humanity, neutrality, impartiality and unity - are threatened, as never before. European leaders have attempted to clarify aid policies for migration and migrants through a 2018 initiative named the Facilitation of Orderly, Safe, Regular and Responsible Migration and Mobility. This initiative aims to assist capacity building in migration and mobility policy, analysis, planning and management, including engagement with diaspora and programmes enhancing the development impact of remittances and/or their use for developmental projects in developing countries, to increase the development benefits of migration. The presentation will examine some of the key aspects of this initiative and examine its strengths and weaknesses. It argues that the initiative lacks historical sensitivity and this needs to be added to give it more chance of success.

Abstract

Migratory phenomena are part of the history of human evolution and have been an integral part of the life of many populations: permanent settlement was not a universal way of living. We would like not only to discuss the forces that were powerful enough to make people permanently uproot themselves, but also the problems faced by migrants once reached the destination country, such as the processes of past and present minoritization and economic and political exclusion in a comparative perspectives. One of the most striking divergence between past and presents movements lies in the fact that in the years of the great migration (1870-1914) millions of people were allowed to move freely while remarkably strict immigration policies are a worldwide feature nowadays. However, we would like to discuss how policies of marginalization, integration  difficulties, poverty of the incoming minority are similar features, yesterday and today. We chose to focus on Africa and Europe because of their complex and rich history, featuring colonialism, decolonization, migration and integration/marginalization issues. Historically Europe has played and plays an important role in African history and would benefit from an honest reflection on the history of its outward flows to the African continent and on the best common policy to be pursued towards the incoming African flows nowadays.