Libmonster ID: U.S.-1466
Author(s) of the publication: I. MOKHOVA

In recent years, demonstrations, riots and riots in a number of Western European countries, which directly involved people from North Africa, have caused increased attention to the problems of immigration, as well as the adaptation of immigrants to new socio-political, civilizational and cultural conditions.

The epicenter of events was France, where crisis situations have consistently arisen, starting with protests against the introduction of a law prohibiting the wearing of Muslim clothing in educational institutions. In the fall of 2005, violent outbreaks rocked the suburbs of Paris and other cities, with what official sources described as an "ethnically homogeneous population"- in other words, Africans and Arabs. In June 2006, the French Senate approved a bill that aims to tighten the requirements for labor immigration in favor of "selective" immigration and measures to combat the illegal stay of foreigners in the country.

Why did France find itself "on the front line" of acute problems related to Arab and African immigration? What is the background of the events that have been rapidly unfolding in recent times, both in France and throughout Europe?

To analyze the complex relationship between the central Maghreb countries and France, it is important to remember that the beginning of French colonial rule in North Africa dates back to 1830. * Until 1962, Algeria was not just an overseas colony, but was part of the territory of France (unlike Tunisia and Morocco, which were under the French protectorate from 1881 onwards). 1912, respectively, and until 1956, the moment of independence).

Algeria's pre-colonial development was based on a traditional non-capitalist economy. The colonization of the country was accompanied by the introduction of new forms of socio-economic relations associated with the beginning of the development of capitalism in the Maghreb, and disrupted the centuries-old course of life of the local population. The best land was confiscated by the French and given free of charge to Europeans, thus encouraging them to settle in Algeria. Gradually, this led to the emergence of "extra" people in the village. They joined the ranks of the unemployed, who sought to find a livelihood first outside the territory of their traditional residence,and then outside their country.

At the same time, France was trying to gain a foothold in the new territory. Since the second third of the 19th century, the French government has been trying to populate Algerian lands with Europeans, promising large allotments of land and benefits for those who want to farm in the overseas territory. Settlement took place slowly and with great difficulties: an unusual climate for Europeans, epidemics, the hostile attitude of the local population, who chose the tactic of "squeezing out" uninvited guests.

European immigration to Algeria continued until the middle of the 20th century. By the time Algeria gained its independence in 1962, the population reached 1 million people, and more than 70% were born in its territory.1 There was a new term "Algerian French", which, in addition to the French (Spaniards, Italians, Maltese), meant all Europeans who lived in Algeria. This is important to note, since Maghreb immigration to Europe was preceded by a reverse process.

In Tunisia and Morocco, the European presence was less significant, but the political and economic measures of the mother country led to the same consequences as in Algeria: fertile land was seized, French capital controlled the main means of production, and landless peasants were excluded from modern production. Therefore, an important feature of North African immigration is that this process is not a consequence of the internal dynamics of Maghreb society, but the result of historical development under the decisive influence of external forces.


In the Maghreb, the phenomenon of migration dates back to the first third of the last century. The inhabitants of the Atlas and Rif mountains were employed as seasonal laborers to harvest grain in the lowlands of Morocco, the Kabyles* * thrived in small-scale trade, and many peasants joined the army. With the development of agricultural trade, hands were needed to harvest fruit,

* In 1830, the colonization of Algeria began: landing in mid-June in Sidi Frege, the French expeditionary force captured the city of Algiers.

** The Kabila are one of the Berber peoples of North Africa with their own language and cultural traditions.

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olives and legumes. Entire regions specialized in supplying seasonal workers for agricultural needs to areas where there was a shortage of workers. Until the early 1930s, seasonal migration flows were "closed" within one or several regions and did not generally represent a threat of "breaking" with the life and customs of the place of traditional residence, with one's own community. The men returned to their villages, where they continued their usual life according to the traditional way of life.

The exodus from the countryside to the cities in the 30s of the XX century is connected, firstly, with the negative effect of colonization, when the land was divided between large owners, and the free territories of nomads found owners. Secondly, with increased industrialization, the centers of which were located in cities, where the main demand for labor was formed. However, this phenomenon became widespread after the Second World War, when the demographic pressure on the village increased several times.

The migration flow was directed to major industrial centers: in Algeria-to the coastal cities of Algiers, Oran and Annaba; in Morocco - to Casablanca, Rabat and Kenitra; the north-west of Tunisia and its coastal areas were centers of attraction for migrants. In social terms, migrants were landless and penniless peasants, small proprietors without education or qualifications. They became the new face of North African cities, around which spontaneous developments of "new" citizens quickly began to appear.

In parallel with the development of migration within the Maghreb at the end of the XIX century, the phenomenon of labor immigration from North Africa to France appears. At the same time, the first Algerian immigrants appear. At first, they were mainly Algerian Kabyles, engaged in small-scale trade. At the beginning of the last century, people from the regions of Kabylia and Tlemcen began to work in industry. As for Moroccans, they come to France as immigrants after 1912, when the French protectorate began; the number of Tunisians on French territory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries remains very small. According to rough estimates, in 1912 in France there were about 5 thousand Algerians and almost 1 thousand Algerians. Moroccans 2.

Most of the Maghreb people were employed in large-scale industry centered around Marseille, in construction around Paris, and in mines in the north of the country and in Pas-de-Calais. The immigrants, all men who went to work, sent part of their income to the numerous relatives who remained in the Maghreb. On the eve of the First World War, the number of Maghreb immigrant workers increased to 30 thousand people, which was explained by the mass outflow of the "extra" rural population from North Africa. During the First World War, about 132 thousand people were killed. Maghrebin residents worked in French industrial enterprises.

In the mid-1920s, the government began to think about reducing the influx of foreign workers, of which about 100 thousand. They were Algerians, 10 thousand Moroccans and about 1 thousand. Tunisians 3. However, after the war, France needed labor to rebuild the battered economy, as well as soldiers during the war itself.

After the Second World War, during a period once again associated with economic recovery, Maghreb immigration was more than welcome. Following the adoption in 1947 of the law on equalization of rights for all French citizens (sujet), including Muslims, who were granted French citizenship (citoyennete), 4 the immigration of Algerians to France is gaining momentum. If in the late 1940s there were just over 20,000 Algerians in France, by 1962 their number, together with family members, exceeded 350,000 people.5 After his imprisonment in 1962. Under the Evian Agreements that gave Algeria independence, the free movement of goods and labor remained in force. A favorable economic environment contributed to the fact that over the next three years the number of Algerian workers increased by another 150 thousand people. 6 Moroccan and Tunisian immigration to France began later and was significantly inferior in quantity to that of Algeria. The period before and after World War II can be considered the beginning of mass immigration, which was caused by the lack of labor resources for the economic development of France and unemployment in Morocco and Tunisia.


In the period between the two World Wars, the first migration flows were a type of individual male immigration, mostly from villages. The lack of employment in the traditional agricultural sector led to the search for temporary work outside of it. Individual migration was characterized by rotation, "departure-arrival", in which the migrant was not assigned to a new territory.

In the future, structural immigration was formed, directly related to the development of the French economy, which needed workers in certain sectors: mining, mechanical engineering, etc. The social structure of immigrants is gradually changing, people come mainly from North African cities. It is not surprising that a stable salary in the French industry is a good incentive to gain a foothold in a new place. Up to the 1973 crisis* who-

* The global economic crisis of 1973 was caused by the decision of OAPEC to impose an oil embargo on countries supporting Israel, in particular in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. In the future, Arab oil producers decided to reduce production, which led to an increase in the cost of a barrel of oil by December 1973 by almost 4 times (from $ 3 per barrel). up to $ 11.65).

page 37

the return of immigrants to their homeland is becoming less significant. Maghrebians gradually became an essential component in the structure of hired workers in French industry.

In the early 1960s, family immigration became predominant, as well as the spread of mixed marriages. Both trends have made it almost impossible to finally leave for the homeland.

Resorting to the policy of attracting foreign labor from the 1940s to the early 1970s, the French Government mainly pursued the following goals. First, to contain the wage growth of French workers in order to minimize the costs of economic growth; second, to increase the mobility and competitiveness of the labor force; and third, to find people who would work in low-prestige and harmful industries (chemical, mining, construction, etc.).

Under pressure from industrial trade unions, the Government concluded an agreement with Morocco and Tunisia in 1963 on labor immigration from these countries. The French Government concluded three successive agreements with Algeria in 1964, 1968 and 1971. The influx of foreign workers also required an adequate social policy. Despite the fact that the first steps of this policy have been taken (providing housing, health insurance), nevertheless, bidonvils are quickly beginning to form around major French cities.

By 1970, Algerians made up the largest group of immigrants - about 1 million people. The situation was becoming less manageable: the number of Maghreb residents increased rapidly as a result of family immigration, and only a few of them had stable jobs and earnings. French discontent became more and more palpable, which led to attacks on Maghreb workers in 1972-1973. This provoked the decision of the Algerian government to ban immigration from the country to France.

During the crisis of the mid-1970s, France also tried to stabilize the labor market and reduce rising unemployment by partially eliminating foreign labor. The general economic downturn in Europe in the mid-1970s led to similar measures being taken in Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. The last two countries have legislatively reduced the time spent by immigrants on their territory, shortened the terms of labor contracts, leaving only the possibility of short-term seasonal earnings.

In 1974, France took drastic measures to regulate and reduce the number of foreign workers and legally suspended new hiring. Immigrants were paid severance payments, provided with assistance in organizing businesses in their homeland, and travel expenses also fell on the French budget. Despite all these measures, the percentage of immigrants returning to their homeland was lower than planned. By the early 1980s, only 8% of Tunisians, 6.1% of Moroccans,and 3.7% of Algerians who lived and worked in France took advantage of the offer to return. 7 These statistics show that in the 1960s and 1970s, there was already a fairly strong consolidation of working immigrants in France, as well as members of their families.

The left-wing government of F. Mitterrand in 1981 adopted a new migration policy aimed at the social and economic integration of foreign communities in France. In addition, it legalized 130,000 foreigners who worked illegally, including about 15,000 Algerians.8 However, the new policy did not resolve many contradictions in practice and only worsened the internal political situation. In 1984, the left was forced to turn to the practice of returning immigrants, which occurred against the background of an uncontrolled increase in illegal immigration, and with it xenophobia and racism in French society.


The policy of the central Maghreb countries regarding immigration issues was based on two principles. The first is the use of its positive aspects (reducing unemployment, using money transfers from immigrants in the national economy, and obtaining additional qualifications). The second is to establish close ties with those who have left, in order to guarantee their rights abroad, if necessary, and, most importantly, to preserve their national identity in a different cultural context.

Morocco has been implementing the most consistent policy for 40 years. The Kingdom's 5-year economic development Plan for 1968-1972 set out to encourage emigration in order to ease the pressure on the national labor market. Even after 1974, when the economic crisis in Western countries forced European governments to take drastic steps to reduce immigration, Hassan II supported the policy of integrating Moroccans abroad, but did not recognize the dual citizenship of his subjects. The Moroccan policy of encouraging and supporting emigration has led to the fact that today the kingdom has an extensive diaspora abroad, whose transfers to their homeland are constantly growing and amount to up to 10% of GDP. According to official statistics, they have grown by 22%over the past five years9. Immigrants annually transfer between 30 and 40 billion dirhams (approximately 4 billion euros) to Morocco. euro)10.

In contrast to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria took a different position after 1974 and pursued a policy of returning immigrants to their homeland. By this time, more than 70% of Tunisian immigrants were in France, the second largest country in the world.

page 38

the majority of the diaspora lived in Germany 11.

Note that the French government paid a certain amount of compensation to Maghreb residents who agreed to return to their countries. However, among immigrants, it was perceived as a mockery: the sum of 10 thousand francs was, according to the testimonies of 12 immigrants, clearly insufficient to settle back in their homeland. In Tunisia, since 1974, the number of people traveling to work abroad has significantly decreased from 16 thousand to 2 thousand. already in 1976 13

In 1971, Algeria nationalized its energy resources. This was associated with expectations of rapid economic growth, which required a large number of labor forces. Following the logic of the expected development, since 1973, the country has suspended the emigration of labor resources to France, which successfully fit into the channel of the French policy of freezing immigration. In addition, Algeria's official position on emigration was negative, as it was seen as a new form of dependence on the former metropolis. However, there was no mass return of Algerians who worked in France. Between 1976 and 1979, the Algerian Government guaranteed 20,000 jobs for those who wanted to return, but only 10% of these jobs were taken by returning immigrants, 14 which indicates the failure of the return policy on the part of both Algeria and France. Since the 1980s, the Algerian Government no longer expects a massive return of labor, and plans to invest in the economy are based on the actual number of labor resources.

Despite the difference in approaches to immigration policy, all Maghreb countries tried to maintain close contacts with the diaspora living in Europe, primarily in France. After independence and until the mid-1970s, the link between expatriates and the homeland was formed by "Friendship Societies", which dealt with employment and social security issues for immigrants from North Africa.

When the form of Maghreb immigration changed from individual to family immigration, the phenomenon of second-and later third-generation immigrants emerged. It refers to children who were born in France to immigrant parents and received French citizenship.

Gradual integration, especially through children who start going to French schools and use the French language much more widely than their parents, makes the connection with the motherland weaker and weaker.

The central Maghreb countries were faced with the following questions: how to overcome the cultural and geographical barrier with their citizens and what form of relations to apply to the diaspora, so that the connection with the homeland was not interrupted? The emphasis was placed on the younger generation, so school holidays for immigrant children and Arabic language courses are organized in Tunisia and Morocco in their countries of residence. The main goal of the events is to preserve the national identity of people who have left their homeland.

The importance of relations with the diaspora is confirmed by the establishment in 1990 of the Ministry of Moroccan Affairs Living Abroad, in 1997. it became part of the Moroccan Foreign Ministry. The Hassan II Foundation has been working on social, religious and cultural issues related to Moroccans living abroad since 1990.

In Tunis, the Bureau of Tunisians Abroad was established in 1988 and the Supreme Council for Tunisians Abroad was established in 1990. Both bodies are engaged in strengthening ties with their citizens outside the country and manage the funds that the diaspora invests in the economic development of Tunisia.


Speaking about the current problems associated with immigration, a natural question arises: what specific figures are we talking about? According to some sources, at the beginning of the 1960s, no more than 1% of all foreigners living in France were from Africa, at the end of the 1960s this figure increased to 25%, and 15 years later it was already 43% 15.

page 39

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), France is officially home to the largest number (about 1 million) of North Africans, exceeding almost five times the figures of Italy and Spain, where at the beginning of this century there were 240 thousand and 218 thousand people, respectively.16

In France, a distinctive feature of this population group is the low rate of return to their homeland, despite difficulties with employment and problems of social integration. In addition, allowing entry for members of immigrant families has helped to establish a significant number of North Africans on French soil.

Thus, France is now home to the third generation of immigrants, with a constant influx of Maghrebians and Africans (legal and illegal). This is not least related to the particular difficulties that the French Government faces in developing an adequate migration policy. In addition to the purely economic aspects, France has to take into account the social and humanitarian dimensions of immigration.

According to the latest data published in 2006 by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Research (INSEE), there were about 5 million immigrants in France in 2004, or just over 8% of the population. 17 Of these, approximately 40% have French citizenship obtained through naturalization or marriage.18

Over the past 15 years, the total number of immigrants has increased by 20%, and Algerians and Moroccans remain the largest foreign diaspora in France.19 Moreover, while in France the Maghreb people are mostly represented almost equally by Algerians and Moroccans, in Spain, Italy and even Portugal they are mostly Moroccans.

The difficulty of accounting for the total number of immigrants is that a foreigner who has obtained French citizenship becomes only French and it will not be recorded anywhere whether his roots are African, Maghreb or Chinese. This is due to the fact that France professes the principle of a "nation-state", according to which an individual who shares republican principles is a citizen, and what nationality or religion he is remains behind the scenes or remained behind the scenes until recently.

Currently, the number of Algerians living abroad is about 1.5 million, more than half of whom (about 800 thousand) are located in France. This is followed by Belgium, Tunisia, the Gulf states and, for some time now, Canada. Interestingly, Canada is the main destination of legal immigration from Algeria (about 300 thousand people), which takes the form of a"brain drain". 80% of Maghreb residents living in Canada have a higher education diploma.

Tunisians outside their country are about 350 thousand people, 80% of whom live in France, the remaining 20% are divided among themselves by Libya, Belgium, Morocco, the Netherlands and Canada.

Of the three Maghreb countries, Morocco has the most citizens living outside the kingdom. According to rough estimates, this is 2 million people, of which 772 thousand are in France, followed by the Netherlands (about 300 thousand), Belgium (200 thousand), Germany and Libya (about 100 thousand), etc. 20

... AND WHY?

What forces or encourages a person to leave for another country, what are the push and pull factors that ultimately play a crucial role in order to cross the Mediterranean Sea from south to north? The main reasons for leaving the country are economic reasons, weak regional development, unemployment, and lack of professional prospects in their own country. Therefore, even with education, the young population is forced to look for a better share abroad. In Morocco, unemployment is 12.1%, in Tunisia-13.8%, in Algeria-25.4% of the economically active population21, and among young people this figure is much higher. GDP per capita between the two coasts of the Mediterranean has on average almost a four-fold gap. While in Tunisia it is $ 7,100 per year, in Algeria - $ 6,600, in Morocco - $ 4,200, 22 in countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Malta, the average is about $ 22,300. 23

The demographic situation in both the north and south of the Mediterranean is one of the main drivers of immigration. European nace-

page 40

The population is getting older, and in the Maghreb countries, the number of people of working age is much higher than the number of jobs in the national economy. The World Bank predicts annual population growth in France will be about 0.3% between 2003 and 2015, while in the Maghreb countries it will average about 1.4% over the same period24.

Schematically, the tasks that immigration should solve are as follows: the surplus of labor resources that the countries of North Africa possess is sent to the EU countries. In Europe, by working legally, the immigrant contributes to solving the problems of economic development of the employer, as well as receives additional experience and knowledge that he can use in the future when he returns to his homeland. In the process of working, a Maghreb resident, by sending home part of the money earned, supports his relatives who spend "European" money in their country. Thus, there is additional investment in the national economy. However, this ideal is too far from reality, and the problems that are directly related to immigration are quite real. This includes brain drain, illegal immigration, and adaptation problems of both socio-political and cultural-psychological nature.

Similar problems exist not only in France (a country of traditional immigration) and the Maghreb. They spread throughout the Mediterranean, which has become a watershed between the rich North and the poor South.

In addition to the economic issues of Maghreb immigration in France, social and cultural aspects are of growing concern. As non-European immigrants increase, there is an increase in xenophobia in society. Ignoring the presence of people with a different cultural code was acceptable until recently, but it has become impossible and simply shortsighted at the moment. The so-called and often-cited positive examples of integration-in the form of non-French ministers, famous cultural figures, football players, etc. - turn out to be special cases that do not change the overall picture of the marginalization of the Arab and African populations.

There are accusations of failure or inadequacy of the French integration policy, but the question arises: is such a policy even possible? Is it possible to adhere to the common republican values of a society with the mosaic composition that France is becoming?

Despite the universalism of the proclaimed values (the value of human life, respect for human rights, freedom of conscience and speech), their understanding in different cultures is different, due to the peculiarities of historical development, and not least - religion and traditions. The survival of culture and its codes on the example of the third generation of Maghreb immigrants shows that there is no full-fledged cultural (value) integration of North Africans. The second and third generations of immigrants, whether we like it or not, are an integral part of the French social fabric.

Therefore, in the near future, the French will have to develop new mechanisms for existing in a multicultural context, which they themselves were at the origin of.

Benjamin Stora, Akram Ellyas. 1 Les 100 portes du Maghreb. L'Algerie, le Maroc, la Tunisie, trois voies singulieres pour allier islam et modernite. Ed. L'Atelier, Paris; Ed. Dahlab, Alger. 1999, p. 257.

2 Ibid., p. 153.

3 Ibid.

4 The law of 26 June 1889 granted French citizenship to anyone born in Algeria, but this right did not apply to Muslims. The legal status of Muslims was determined by the Native Code of 1874/1881. The Code provided for a ban on the free movement of Muslims, strict punishments (fines and imprisonment) in case of violation of its provisions, as well as a host of other prohibitions and restrictions related to all aspects of Muslim life. The French Civil Code did not apply to Muslims (they were guided by Muslim law), and special criminal courts were created for them. At the same time, French legislation in the economic sphere applied to Muslims. Muslims were also subject to a special tax regime: in addition to traditional taxes, they paid indirect taxes, market and maritime duties. См.: Andre Nouschi. L'Algerie amere 1914 - 1994. Editions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris. 1995, p. 13 - 15.

Said Si Ammour. 5 L'emigration maghrebine en Europe. Dans: Panorama des economies maghrebines contemporaines. CE.N.E.A.P., Alger. 1991, p. 97.

6 Ibidem.

7 Ibid., p. 102.

8 Ibid., p. 98.

9 Royaume du Maroc, Office des changes -

10 Bilan du Monde, edition 2005, Paris.

Said Si Ammour. 11 Op. cit., p. 99.

Yamina Benguigui. 12 Mernoires d'immigres. L'heritage maghrebin. Ed. Canal+, Paris, 1997.

Sraieb N. 13 Chronique sociale et culturelle. Tunisie. Annuaire de rAfrique du Nord, Paris, CNRS. 1976, p. 558.

Said Si Ammour. 14 Op. cit., p. 104.

15 L'Etat du Maghreb. Sous la direction de Camille et Yves Lacoste. Ed. La Decouverte, Paris. 1991, p. 95.

16 Data for France - as of March 15, 1999, for Spain - as of January 1, 2001, and for Italy-as of January 1, 2000.The author does not have any more recent official statistics. For a summary table on the distribution of immigrants in the northern Mediterranean countries, see: -Fargues Philippe. Les politiques migratoires en Mediterranee Occidentale: contexte, contenu, percpectives. Rapport prepare pour l'Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations, 2002.

Catherine Borrel. 17 Pres de cinq millions d'immigres a la mi-2004. Insee premiere n° 1098, aout 2006. Cit. by: Le Monde, 25.08.06.

18 Ibidem.

19 Ibid.; the largest foreign diasporas in France are formed by Portuguese, Algerians and Moroccans.

20 All of the above figures are taken from: Benjamin Stora, Akram Ellyas. Op. cit., p. 153-155. Some more recent sources put the number of Moroccan immigrants at 3 million. See Bilan du Monde, edition 2005, Paris.

21 World Bank statistics. World Factbook, 2005.

22 Ibidem.

Fargues Philippe. 23 Op. cit.

24 World Development Indicators 2005 - The forecasts of European statistics differ slightly from the World Bank's data, but they confirm this trend.


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