Immigration to the EU -
Good news or not?
The EU has to decide how to deal with immigration. The European Union allows it's citizens to move freely within it's borders, and also work in any member country. It is also relatively safe and has a democratic government, which makes the laws and regulations, the countries within it are quite highly developed and successful, and provide benefits to needy citizens. It may not be perfect, but compared to other countries there are many opportunities for a 'good life' in the EU.
It is therefore no wonder that migrants come, either fleeing violence or prosecution (asylum seekers) or looking for work, (economic migrants).
The question the EU needs answering is 'Do we want them?' because whether they come or not will have a big impact on the EU. There are very different opinions of what this effect will be however. Will it be a financial 'drain' to house and support these people or will they bring prosperity through the work they could do?
There will be ten new countries joining the EU on 1st May this year. These are eastern European countries and the government is worried that if they give these people the right to come and work here there will be such a rush of people that Britain won't be able to cope, so people from these countries are being denied this right.
If you are not an EU citizen, you do not have an automatic right to stay within it. An application for asylum or work permit must be made for this to be legal, and often these are not given.
Illegal immigration is a big issue for the EU. Just looking at the front pages of tabloids there are examples of the right winged attitudes that Europe is being 'swamped' with immigrants, 'taking our jobs' or 'claiming our benefits'.