Eine Frau geht an einer Weltkarte, die aus Kinderporträts besteht, am Freitag (18.06.2010) im JuniorMuseum in Köln vorbei.

Spain

Traditionally an emigration country, Spain has been transformed within the space of a few decades to become one of the most important immigration countries in Europe. Since the middle of the 1980s Spain's foreign population has risen nineteen-fold to 4.52 million. Legislation has been modified many times in order to keep pace with this ever-changing situation. From the beginning, the focus has been on controlling the flow of immigrants and combating illegal migration, which represents a central problem for Spain. Although questions concerning the social integration of immigrants were not initially addressed, they are increasingly gaining importance. While immigration has become a key political and social issue in public debate, discussion over what it will mean for Spain and the Spanish self-image in the future is only starting to get off the ground. (Version from 8/2008)

Spain

Axel Kreienbrink

Background Information

Traditionally an emigration country, Spain has been transformed within the space of a few decades to become one of the most important immigration countries in Europe. Legislation has been modified many times in order to keep pace with this ever-changing situation.

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Foreign national residence permit holders in Spain 1975-2007 and according to the padrón municipal 1996-2008

Axel Kreienbrink

From emigration country to immigration country

The history of Spanish migration over the last five hundred years has mostly been a tale of emigration. However, overall migration trends have changed, with increased levels of south-north and east-west migration.

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Axel Kreienbrink

Politico-legal developments

The development of Spanish migration policy can be described as a slow process of maturation toward becoming an immigration nation. Accordingly, regulations have constantly been adjusted to reflect the issues of the day.

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Figure 1: Foreign population by countries of origin, 2008

Axel Kreienbrink

Resident foreign population

The composition of the foreign population in Spain has changed. Whereas immigrants from Latin America were formerly in the majority, Europeans meanwhile have once again come to represent the largest group due to immigration from Central and Eastern Europe.

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Asylum in Spain, 1984-2007

Axel Kreienbrink

Refugeeism and asylum

Spain has never been a particularly attractive country for asylum seekers. This could be due to the relatively low acceptance rate making it easier to enter the country illegally as a foreign worker and become legalised later.

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Naturalisation in Spain, 1975-2006

Axel Kreienbrink

Citizenship

Until now, Spain's citizenship policy has had a clear ethnic bias, one that favours naturalisation for Latin Americans. A satisfactory level of integration in Spanish society, proof of legal residence and proof of good civic conduct are required.

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Axel Kreienbrink

Irregular migration

Irregular migration (and especially irregular residence) is a lasting problem associated with immigration in Spain. There are also indications that a significant number of citizens from EU member states live as long-term tourists in Spain without legal residence status.

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Axel Kreienbrink

Future Challenges

It remains to be seen how the policy instruments used to manage immigration will work. Despite economic problems, continuing large-scale immigration to Spain for the immediate future is anticipated. On a positive note, it is possible to tie legal immigration to jobs.

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Country Profile 6: Spain

References

Here you can find references and further reading for Country Profile 6: "Spain" by Axel Kreienbrink.

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Kurzdossiers

Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl: Aktuelle Themen

Ein Kurzdossier legt komplexe Zusammenhänge aus den Bereichen Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration auf einfache und klare Art und Weise dar. Es bietet einen fundierten Einstieg in eine bestimmte Thematik, in dem es den Hintergrund näher beleuchtet und verschiedene Standpunkte wissenschaftlich und kritisch abwägt. Darüber hinaus enthält es Hinweise auf weiterführende Literatur und Internet-Verweise. Dies eröffnet die Möglichkeit, sich eingehender mit der Thematik zu befassen. Unsere Kurzdossiers erscheinen bis zu 6-mal jährlich.

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