EU migration debate focuses on jus soli and FRONTEX

Aging workforce spurs greater openness

31 March, 17:34

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, MARCH 31 - The FRONTEX program, a shift in asylum request assessments to the EU level, and a common policy on jus soli citizenship regulations are some of the issues focused on during the 'Europe and Migration Policies' debate held in Naples on Monday. The event, sponsored by the Italian Representation of the European Commission, was the fourth segment of POLITICALLY.EU, a series of national debates called 'Know in Order to Decide'.

    Moderating were Stefano Polli, the head of ANSA's international division, RAI Radio3's Giorgio Zanchini and Philippe Fargues, director of the Migration Policy Center. The debate stemmed from an awareness that migration must be seen as a resource for Europe and not a problem, given the demographic outlook. If the level remains the same as it was prior to the demographic crisis, the EU-27 will lose some 33 million individuals of working age (-11%) before 2030, while the number of elderly people will continue to rise to 62 million. The alarm bells first went off in 2010, when the Migration Policy Center of the European University of Florence reported that the number of people past retirement age surpassed that of the population between the ages of 20 and 35. One of the proposals that surfaced was to create a Euro-Mediterranean Erasmus program enabling youth from the southern Mediterranean to gain experience in Europe during their educational years, in order to make use of that know-how at a later date either in Europe or their home countries. Other proposals included considering how to prevent the FRONTEX program from creating a 'Fortress Europe' and how to share asylum requests at the EU level. Another key issue is that of citizenship processes, which should be standardized through Europe to prevent migrants from opting for nations that have more lenient legislation on the matter. There was also debate on a 'moderate' jus soli which could provide citizenship for migrants' children under age 6 (when they begin schooling) or 16 at the latest, to prevent a gap between them and their peers when they enter the workforce or university at age 18. On the issue of Italy, a significant proposal was to transfer jurisdiction over migrant issues from the interior ministry to an independent authority set up to monitor human rights violations. (ANSAmed).

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