The issue of immigration within Europe centres upon
the rights afforded to European Citizens. In 1957, the European Economic Community signed a treaty affording European citizens the freedom of movement within the European Community. The Treaty of Rome was a means of promoting labour mobility within in Europe and most importantly workers' rights were afforded to their families as well.
The Single European Act of 1986 enhanced the Treaty of Rome by making the European Union an area without borders and therefore giving European Citizens the incentive to relocate. This legislation was extended to go beyond the economic considerations of the Treaty of Rome in 1990. The European Council eliminated the importance of employment as an criteria for relocation and this became the basis for European Citizenship.
Treaty of 1992, the ideology of the citizenship of the European Union was
created and this gave European Citizens more freedom. The main aim of the
treaty was to create an European identity that incorporated the national
identities of nation states without diminishing its importance.
The aforementioned point is an major benefit of being a European citizen however, rights of European citizens are constantly improving and this is seen in the Amsterdam Treaty of 1999.This gave European citizens the right vote and in addition to this European citizens have the option to stand as a member of the European Parliament.
Under the Amsterdam Treaty, the European Union is bound to ensure the protection of human rights. This led to the establishment of a new legislation called the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights in 1999. This charter ensured that the social, civil and political rights were protected. It was designed to protect citizens and therefore making life in the European Union more enjoyable. The Charter of Fundamental Human Rights was drafted because of the Amsterdam treaty and under the aforementioned act, the rights of immigrants were expanded.
The Amsterdam Treaty made it easier for the European Union to tackle immigration and asylum matters. The most popular reasons behind immigration was employment and the search for a better life. Political and economic benefits of the European Union has created the issue of immigration, while the issue of war is also an cause of the aforementioned issue.
The forming of European Immigration policy took place in the Tampere summit in 1999, the European Union derived specific laws to deal with legal and illegal immigration. In terms of legal immigration, the European Union Council of Ministers has given third country nationals the right to reside in Europe and also be reunited with their families.
Immigrants entering Europe will be afforded similar rights of European citizens, which entitles them the right to an education and employment. This is all subject to them obtaining residency in the country they have entered. Immigrants rights are very favourable in terms of European Union legislation, but the main question is how the European guidelines are going to be interpreted on a national level.
At the Tempere Summit(1999), the European Union drew up measures to combat illegal immigration. This involved acting against crime syndicates involved in people trafficking. In 2002, the European Council of Ministers devised action plans to control illegal immigration and therefore protect the rights of its people. This took the form of a plan to quickly investigate illegal immigrant asylum cases, the overall goal of this was to send back illegal immigrants to their country of origin sooner. The main issue is that immigrants rights are dependent upon their status( legal or illegal) and in addition to this the choice of destination country is relevant in terms of rights given to immigrants legal or illegal.