How does the flow of people affect the migration policies of EU in general and Belgium and Sweden in particular?

05 Dec

(Bu girdinin Türkçe çevirisi için buraya tıklayın.)

Recently, a Turkish colleague of mine wrote about his trip to Paris (here is the English translation). He’s currently working as a software expert in Sony-Ericsson, Sweden. His blog ignited a discussion and we started to talk about the residence permissions and I have learned that within a few months he and his Turkish wife, who are not Swedish citizens at all, got their permanent permission of residence at Sweden without any problems. On the other hand, after my 5th month at Belgium I am still waiting to get a temporary permission of residence at Belgium (as far as I know, no such thing as permanent permission of residence for foreigners exists in Belgium). How can one explain such a big difference between two EU member countries? Research time!

Now, I must admit that I don’t think some people or governments are necessarily bad while others are very democratic by nature. Governments simply respond to current events (not that this is a justification of everything they do, that’s another matter). Thus my hypothesis is that the strict regulations in Belgium and the ‘soft’, democratic approach of Sweden should be based on some real data which should show the cause of such a difference. I wonder whether Belgium had many immigrants and many problems because of them and thus had strict immigration policies whereas Sweden did not have a big population flow into its land.

To test my hypothesis I searched for hard data. Luckily in short time I was able to find a detailed OECD report titled “Trends in International Migration” [PDF] at OECD International Migration Statistics Documentation and some more info at Belgium’s Immigration Policy Brings Renewal and Challenges. The tables and numbers in the OECD trends report seems to explain the differences between the migration policies of Sweden and Belgium. Add to this the fact that the Moroccan and Turkish population caused a lot of trouble in Belgium and you start to understand the picture much better. Once again I and probably many other people become the victim of a history to which they haven’t contributed. Do we always have to pay for the sins of our fathers?

Inflows of asylum seekers

Inflows of asylum seekers

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Posted by on December 5, 2009 in General


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