Italy in the Mirror of Migration Issues

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-9-77-88

N. Goffe (,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation 

Abstract. Migration has become one of the major global issues in the 21st century. Challenges it has caused are on top of the agenda in numerous European states. This paper focuses on particular features which current migration crisis has acquired in the Italian context. The author's analysis shows that Italy has been ill-prepared to deal with the influx of migrants coming to Europe from Africa for a number of reasons. These include its social and economic development (territorial disproportions, slow recovery from a prolonged recession, slow growth, low employment rate and high unemployment, particularly among the youth); sluggish and corrupt bureaucracy; powerful criminal organisations that engage in smuggling migrants and exploiting their labor; an ill-equipped system designed to provide temporary accommodation to asylum seekers which is unfit to deal with the issue on such a scale; the lack of a comprehensive system of measures aimed at promoting the gradual integration of immigrants. Widespread negative attitudes toward the asylum seekers in Italy have become an unexpected characteristic of the migration crisis in this country. Italians feel helpless in the face of real or imaginary threats caused by mass migration. Local authorities often refuse to accommodate migrants out of concern that such a move could cause popular discontent. As a result, fostering dialogue among people of different cultures, looking for conditions to promote counteraction and understanding, uncovering mutual needs and interests has become particularly significant. The integration of immigrants based on interculturalism could be one of such mechanisms. The paper offers specific examples of intercultural practices. 

Keywords: Italy, immigration, migrants, transit, attitude toward migrants, interculturalism, intercultural practices 


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For citation:
Goffe N. Italy in the Mirror of Migration Issues. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2017, vol. 61, no. 9, pp. 77-88.

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