1.10.2008 | Von:
Tim Elrick


The example of migration from Romania to Spain demonstrates that the existence of strong migration networks has a considerable influence on the outcome of migration policy measures.

Migration networks can obstruct or reinforce policy goals; as already demonstrated in other migration spaces (e.g. Mexico-USA [1] or Morocco-France/Belgium [2]), restrictive policy measures can fail to achieve their purpose or at least be toned down by migrants circumventing regulations, laws and even physical obstacles such as border barriers with the help of the contacts, knowledge and material resources of these networks. On the other hand, established migration networks can also assist the effect of migration policies whose aim is to increase migration. This too results in a greater influx of migrants than the policy decision-makers anticipate. The opening of the UK's labour market to the new accession countries in the course of the EU expansion in 2004 was characteristic of this phenomenon. Forecasts for immigration under the terms of this policy measure were exceeded many times over [3], which can partly be attributed to the activity of migration networks boosting immigration. Irrespective of the objectives of future migration policies, whether they serve to obstruct or promote them, migration networks have meanwhile become a significant element that should be factored into the effectiveness of policy measures.


Espinosa, Massey 1997, Kandel, Massey 2002
Heering et al. 2004
cf. Heinen, Pegels 2006



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