1.10.2008 | Von:
Tim Elrick

Romanian migration networks and their influence on Spanish migration policy

As the selected policy measures have shown, reactions to such measures differ depending on how well-developed a migration network is in the respective origin communities.

In places or regions with a long and extensive history of migration, in which the migration networks are accessible to almost every inhabitant regardless of social status, migrants frequently demonstrate a coordinated response to changes in migration policy. Where migration between Romania and Spain is concerned, it has been established [1] that, especially since the 1996 regularisation campaign, information about the regularisation campaigns was coordinated and disseminated in the origin communities. This has enabled many migrants to improve and stabilise their residence status in Spain. This has not been possible in communities with a short history of migration in which the social networks of migrants are built on just a small number of ties, mostly between kin.

Migrants from communities with a long history of migration can also establish transnational connections. This leads firstly to high mobility between the two countries, and secondly to increased migrant settlement in the destination country. The higher mobility of documented migrant workers may be attributed to the more stable residence status migrants obtain following regularisation. However, irregular migrants also become more mobile through migration networks. Due to the greater freedom of travel permitted by the abolition of mandatory visas for the Schengen area, migration networks became established and expanded in the Schengen states, which also made access easier for irregular migrant Romanian workers.

Migrants showed little interest in the essentially positive policy changes in Spain and other destination countries if strong migration networks for Spain already existed in their communities. The introduction of bilateral treaties between Romania and Spain for labour migration in agriculture, as well as the new options opened up by EU expansions, appear not to have interested such migrants. Migrants from communities with less extensive migration networks, by contrast, were pleased to accept the new opportunities, particularly those provided by the bilateral treaties.


cf. Elrick, Ciobanu 2007



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