Migratory Trends in the Mediterranean. Socio-Economic Challenges and Pressure on Italy and Europe

Europe Bottom Up-Nr.4 | Migratory Trends in the Mediterranean. Socio-Economic Challenges and Pressure on Italy and Europe

1. The Centrality of the Mediterranean and the Urgency for Priveleged Dialogue

The Mediterranean dimension is the characterising element of migration in the European Union. Currently there are over 6,700,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Basin who are legally living in the European Union. They make up 40.6% of the foreign population living in the European Union: a number which is considerably higher than any other area on the planet. In comparison, immigrants from Asia only make up 17% of the total, 16% come from the remaining countries of Central and Eastern Europe, 13% are from South America and 8% are from Sub-Saharan Africa (Figure 1.1).

Approximately half of the migrants of Mediterranean origin come from North Africa alone, and Moroccans are the most widespread nationality within the European Union (nearly two million people), followed by Turks and Albanians..