The influx of immigrants from across the Mediterranean, not least as a result of the Arab Spring uprisings, is such that it is no longer possible to manage them without the contribution of Europe. Brussels, that is, must produce a “common regulation that harmonises the national legislation of Member States and equitably distributes the burden of reception among them”. This was the statement by Secretary Marta Dassù, speaking at the conference “Italy and the Mediterranean in the context of International Migration” organized to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the International Migration Organization.
Dassù also underscored that the countries these migration flows are coming from “cannot be left alone”, and that to counter trafficking in immigrants there had to be through stricter accords with the countries of origin and transit of illegal immigrants. “These efforts to counter the phenomenon”, she added, “must also be supplemented by efforts to help these countries toward more productive growth”. Fostering the full integration of legal immigrants into the Italian social fabric is another of the government’s goals, the Secretary explained, specifying that the initial focus had to be on insertion into the working world.
The conference was also an occasion to present the first “Annual Report on the Immigration Economy” produced by the Moressa Foundation under the patronage of the IMO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In her speech Secretary Dassù reiterated that young immigrant families were already a valuable resource for our country’s development and economy that contributes approximately 12% to Italian GDP. In particular, she pointed out, immigrants make up approximately 10% of the work force, 6.5% of the business community, while 8% of taxpayers are foreigners declaring 5% of incomes. “These percentages paint a picture of a changing Italian society and economy”, the Secretary noted, revealing that in an increasingly ageing Italian society, “immigrants are playing a growing role in the economic development of our country”.