Selective Europeanization: Europe’s Impact on Spanish Migration Control

  • Margit Fauser
Part of the Migration, Minorities and Citizenship book series (MMC)


Immigration to southern Europe is a new phenomenon. Like Greece, Spain is being confronted with rapidly growing numbers of immigrants only in the last decade or two. In 1985, a year before Spain entered the European Community, the foreign resident population amounted to around 240,000 people — less than 0.6 per cent of the total population. Most of them were affluent retirees from European Community member states, namely the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden. Since that time, more and more immigrant workers have arrived in Spain every year, primarily from Latin America, North Africa and Asia. At the end of 2005 almost 2.6 million foreigners were living in Spain, or more than 6 per cent of the population — in other words, ten times the number of 20 years ago. Only 22 per cent of those foreigners today are citizens of European member states. The majority are of Latin American (36 per cent) and African (23 per cent) origin, while Asians make up 6.4 per cent of the immigrant population in Spain. The recent regularization of irregular migrants during the year 2005 contributed to the latest increase in the total number of foreigners. Almost 700,000 applications — of an estimated 1.2 million irregulars in Spain — were submitted and most were granted. This should have reduced the number of irregular migrants currently living in Spain to around half a million (Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales 2004; Arango and Jachimowicz 2005; Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales 2005).


Labour Migration Migration Policy European Norm Irregular Migrant Spanish Legislation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Margit Fauser 2007

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  • Margit Fauser

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