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Migration Dossier

Appeal for participation in the European Social Forum

To immigrant and immigrant solidarity organizations

Thursday 12 September 2002

Associations, trade unions and political organizations have started to prepare the European Social Forum which will take place in November 2002 in Florence, Italy, following on from the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre.

The European Social Forum is based on three major themes: neo-liberalism and globalisation; war and militarisation; democracy, citizenship and social rights. In this framework, the immigrants movements in Europe are directly concerned, precisely because the European Union has made control of immigration one of the foundation stones of its policy, with the closing of its borders.

The EU is currently preparing a new set of anti-immigration measures.

Following the electoral breakthrough of the far right and populist parties in several countries, the heads of government from Spain and Great Britain agreed on new measures for border control and the 15 countries of the European Union made immigration the central question of the Seville summit, aiming to achieve a hardening of their policy.

The presence of foreigners in Europe is accepted on the basis of draconian conditions that are difficult to meet. This creates a situation of precarity and marginalisation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are condemned to earn their living in the black market. Demands for asylum are arbitrarily rejected, women’s independence is rarely recognized, the right to join families is sometimes restricted. Police powers are constantly growing and the confusion between immigrants and delinquents accepted by leading figures in the European Union.

With the pretext of the fight against terrorism, Europe is hardening up and the ministers for home affairs of the 15 are discussing introducing a joint border police. The Italian parliament has voted for the stocking of fingerprints of foreigners asking for residence permits, a potential danger.

During the ESF, there will be a forum ’Migrants against Fortress Europe’.

We will discuss the following subjects: freedom of movement and residence; the right to asylum; citizenship; independence of immigrant women; equal rights. On each of these points, we will seek to formulate joint demands which would encourage Europe-wide mobilizations.

In addition, we ask that questions relating to immigration, freedom of movement, the rights of migrant, immigrant and foreign men and women are discussed in all the themes because they are relevant to all of them.

To make the importance of these questions relating to immigration more visible we ask that the word ’Immigration’ be added to the title of Theme III.

We call on you to get involved in the preparation of the ESF and to participate in it.

First signatories:

Association citoyenne des originaires de Turquie (ACORT), Association des Marocains en France (AMF), ASECA, Association de solidarité avec les femmes algériennes démocrates (ASFAD), Coordination nationale des Sans Papiers (CNSP), DROITS DEVANT !, Fédération des associations franco-africaines de développement (FAFRAD), Fédération des associations de solidarité avec les travailleurs immigrés (FASTI), Fédération des Tunisiens pour une citoyenneté des deux rives (FTCR), Groupe d’information et de soutien des travailleurs immigrés (GISTI), Pour une véritable citoyenneté européenne (PVCE), Réseau pour l’autonomie juridique des femmes immigrées et réfugiées (RAJFIRE), Service national pastoral des migrants (SNPM), Parti communiste français (PCF), Union des juifs pour la paix et la justice (UJPJ).