Italy, the European Union, and Mediterranean migrants: opportunity from crisis?
Fillmore, Matthew L. R.
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Since 2013, civil and interstate wars have roiled North Africa and the Middle East. These conflicts, along with poverty in both regions, have led to the largest migration to Europe since the end of World War II. This thesis considers the effects of mass migration on Italy and the European Union (EU). It examines Italian and EU military responses to the migrant crisis, as well as possible means to dedicate greater resources to aid in security endeavors. This thesis also explores the impacts that the migrant crisis has had on the Italian economy and politics. It analyzes the Italian immigration system, along with how it interfaces with the EU's immigration system, and explores ways in which both can promote more effective migrant and refugee economic integration. This thesis concludes that current EU and Italian efforts to address the Mediterranean migrant crisis are falling short of effectively managing the migrant and refugee influx. This thesis recommends NATO involvement concerning the security and flow management aspects of this challenge, and also argues that better economic integration of the migrants and refugees may hold the key to economic renewal in various EU member states, notably Italy.
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