Migration from Latin America to Europe

Trends and Policy Challenges

image of Migration from Latin America to Europe

Part of the IOM Migration Research Series, this study reveals various trends and policy challenges relating to migration from Latin America and the Caribbean to Europe, which has grown rapidly over the last decade. These increased flows calls for strengthened cooperation between the two regions on migration issues, specifically the effective integration of migration issues into the ongoing development cooperation activities and political dialogues.



The policy context

European heads of state opened a new chapter in the history of EU migration policy with the decision at the European Council in Tampere, 1999, to develop a common EU migration and asylum policy. This development reflected the growing consensus among European policy makers that the realities of labour market demand for immigrant workers, continuing migration pressures from the developing world and demographic trends in European countries, particularly declining birth rates and ageing populations, all called for innovative policy approaches. In its communication on a Community Immigration Policy (COM (2000) 757) of November 2000, the European Commission explicitly proposed abandoning the zero immigration policies of the past 30 years. Instead, new immigration policies would be devised with which to better regulate migration through orderly and regular channels that were themselves responsive to labour market needs, as well as to undercut migrant smuggling and human trafficking. As one observer put it “[t]he new millennium is distinguished by the emergence in the European Union of a debate on the ‘conditioned reopening’ of the borders and by the definition of a new calculated hospitality” (Bribosia et al., 2002).


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