South Asian Migration to Western Europe: Origins, Trends, Perspectives

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-4-101-110
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 13.09.2021.

Acknowledgments. The article is prepared within a MGIMO-University project supported by the grant from Russian Science Foundation (No. 19-18-00251).

Abstract. The article is concentrated on the phenomenon of Indian and South Asian migration to the countries of Western Europe. Initially, migration flows from this region were an inalienable part of metropolis–colonies interrelationship and were sustained on the notion of free and unrestricted movement of human resources from South Asia to the British Isles. After the dissolution of the British Empire and gaining independence, the inhabitants of India and South Asia, in search for a “happier life” overseas, set their course for the United Kingdom and Western Europe, where later migrants were put under rigorous political control. However, the flows of those seeking economic prosperity and political asylum remained intensive and became subject to methodical social regulations in Western Europe. Equilibrium of this kind was put to a severe test when the migration crisis of 2015 and 2016 broke out. Only the most advanced groups of migrants could adjust themselves to the newly emerged reality as demonstrated by the cases of the Netherlands and Italy. The Dutch government has restricted the inflow of low-skilled labour, while encouraging skilled immigration. Indian labour force is generally employed in IT, consultancy, engineering or management. Local and national governments work together with private partners to make the lives of these newcomers easier. High-skilled migrants are welcome as new citizens. Most Indians in Italy have settled in the north of the country and work in agriculture. Indians are considered industrious, business-minded, hard-working and law-abiding. The Indian migrant community has integrated successfully into Italian economic and social life. The author argues that the Dutch and Italian practice of handling the Indian migrants could be critically absorbed in Russia that is keen to attract the “demographic dividend” from outside.

Keywords: migrations, South Asia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, multiculturalism, assimilation, “demographic dividend”, information technologies, agrarian cluster of economy


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For citation:
Volodin A. South Asian Migration to Western Europe: Origins, Trends, Perspectives. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 4, pp. 101-110.

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