By Marina Nikolova, Junior Research Fellow at Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) with the support of Thomas Huddleston, Programme Director, MPG
The legal reforms promised by SYRIZA could substantially improve the conditions for integration in Greece, as measured by its MIPEX score, and put Greece alongside Portugal, Spain and Italy as relatively welcoming new countries of immigration. Greece’s MIPEX score could increase by over 15 points if these promises are well-implemented to address the major areas of weakness in Greece’s integration policies. Continue reading →
A new immigration bill was submitted to the Greek parliament for debate on 14th February. The bill that will be voted in the upcoming weeks, aims to simplify the residence permit application process and facilitate labour market access for migrants. The same document, however, abolishes the right to vote for immigrants. According to the Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis, the proposed provisions are enforcing a recent decision by the Council of State. It stipulates that the 2010 citizenship law granting greater voting rights to immigrants is unconstitutional. MIPEX argues that the new restrictive criteria will undermine the conditions for integration in Greece, undoing most of its major advancements on integration since 2007.
Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group
The new Greek government wants to undermine its landmark 2010 Nationality Reform by aligning the law with other southern European countries facing irregular migration. However, Greece’s current naturalisation and birthright citizenship policies already reflect the average practice in most Western countries of immigration and the reform trends in Southern Europe. Moreover, Europe’s nationality laws are not major pull factors for irregular migration. Citizenship restrictions ‘in the name of irregular migration’ are often based on ancedotes about ‘birth tourism’ and rhetoric from the far-right.