The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Agency for International Development Cooperation (AEXCID), have organised the session “Integration Answers Facing the Migratory-Economic Crises”.
During the opening session, the director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, Juan Carlos Moreno, pointed out that the process of European integration, among its achievements, “has been able to eliminate European internal borders, but the external ones remain and it has become impossible to go beyond them”. He claimed that our southern frontier, the Mediterranean, sometimes seems to be “the Dead Sea or the Sea of the Dead, because of the many people that perish in their attempt to reach Europe”.
Moreno pointed out that the European Union “makes up 7% of the world population, but its social expense is 50% of the world total and that is why many wish to come”, in spite of Europe’s shielding form their arrival. He has underlined that, “most Europeans emotionally accept to receive refugees, but politically this is not the case, because it’s a matter of national competence and we continue with the bloody-mindedness to not take in refugees nor immigrants”.
The director concluded bystressing the European and Ibero-American Academyof Yuste Foundation’s commitment to be a “channel for analysis and reflection; an open forum to present views and confront ideas in order to reach solutions, where possible”.
This session, in the framework of the Campus Yuste programme, offers different approaches and strategies. The speakers included Tomás Calvo Buezas, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology of the Complutense University of Madrid, and founder of the Migrations and Racism Study Centre (Centro de Estudios sobre Migraciones y Racismo –CEMIRA-), and Gonzalo Fanjul Suárez, director of the Policy Analysis Department, at ISGlobal, the driving force of the porCausa Foundation (journalism and research against poverty), and co-editor of the blog El País 3.500 Millones.
Calvo Buezas stated that “the history of humanity is the history of human migrations”. The human being is naturally a “migrant, mixed-raced and diverse”, which is why migrations should not surprise us. Calvo Buezas highlighted two elements as the cause of migrations: economic inequality and demographic imbalances. He has pointed out that “work is the greatest appeal for immigrants, which is why the best form of integration is a job with no exploitative conditions”.
In turn, Gonzalo Fanjul has pointed out that migration is not a new phenomenon. There have been migration waves since the 19th century. Fajul has made a diagnosis of the current migratory system which, he claimed, is “immoral from an ethical point of view and unwise from an economical point of view”. He has, furthermore, stated that this system ignores “the inevitability of migratory flows”, and adds that, “countries insist on controlling these flows as if they were a tap that can be opened or closed, whereas the mobility of people depends on factors which lie beyond government control”. This is why migratory flows “should be governed and not controlled”.
Fanjul has affirmed that 250 million people migrate around the planet and has set emphasis on several issues, such as the fact that migrations are a natural phenomenon, “we are all the result of movement”. He has also pointed out that “migrations and mobility are a positive phenomenon”, assuring that, “emigration is a lever for development”.
Other participants of the session have been: the territorial coordinator of the CEPAIM Foundation in Extremadura, Mehrad Alizadeh, and the autonomous coordinator of the Spanish Red Cross in Extremadura, José Aurelio González Peinado.
This activity is part of the project “Europe in the Face of Global Challenges Concerning Development Cooperation” (“Europa ante los desafíos globales de la cooperación al desarrollo”), financed by the AEXCID, and whose aim is to study the role played by the European Union in depth, in Extremadura, as a region that faces great internal challenges within a global framework of crisis and transformation and which is committed to Sustainable Development as a global challenge, where cooperation among public, private, and civil society actors, as well as among regions and countries, is key for the achievement of shared goals.