FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Migration and digital technologies in Southern Europe: a comparative study in Italy and Spain

GT 11 Southern European Societies

Stefania Fragapane (Università degli Studi di Enna "Kore")
Giancarlo Minaldi (Università degli Studi di Enna "Kore")


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 4 : Family and care
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: viernes, 1 de julio de 2016
Hora: 16:00 a 18:00
Lugar: 205

The paper focuses on migration and digital technologies, with particular emphasis on European Border Surveillance System. In recent years there was a large increase in migration flows through the Central Mediterranean, together with a progressive differentiation in the composition of migratory flows (IOM 2015).

If, on the one hand, operational cooperation between Spain, Senegal, Mauritania and Morocco has reduced the pressure to migrate to the Canary Islands and southern Spain, on the other this has led to the displacement of flows towards the Central Mediterranean route, where it focuses more and more sub-Saharan Africa immigration, also encouraged by the low return rate (AFIC 2015; Andersson 2014). With respect to this scenario and the  general need to establish joint action lines within the EU (Feldman 2011), the European Commission promoted a detailed action plan aimed at broadening and strengthening the use of digital technologies to combat illegal immigration (European Commission 2015).

The work explores the approach in the management and control of irregular migration flows in two southern European countries, Italy and Spain, that in recent years promoted action strategies partially divergent (AFIC 2015). The aim was to identify the main factors explaining the evolution of the logics of action concerning management strategies and the role of digital technologies on monitoring borders and migration flows (Dijstelbloem and Meijer 2011; Aus 2006; Roots 2016).

The paper analyzed the strategic approaches and adaptations of the two countries with respect to the Community Strategy. More specifically, data relating to the implementation of SIS II, VIS and Eurodac, as well as data concerning the actions taken in relation to the contrast to irregular migration, were analyzed. The methodology focused on documental analysis of the main European and national documents on migration and surveillance systems, which allowed to define some relevant dimensions of investigation. Subsequently some interviews with the main actors involved in the management of migration phenomenon in the two selected countries have been carried out.

In the last year a renewal trend of convergence between Italy and Spain is emerging, apparently as a consequence of a complex system of constraints which is affecting above all the logic of action in Italy (European Commission 2016).

The comparison between the various empirical findings provide useful information to reconstruct how the migration policies of the two countries are being evolving and redefining in relation to the use of digital technologies and whether and to what extent the latter represent a strategic resource, at national and European level.

Palabras clave: migration, digital technologies, borders, policies