Well over one million Moroccan nationals are officially resident in the 15 Member States of the European Union, and many more live and work there, without valid documents. While the countries north of the Mediterranean Basin need labour immigrants, those striving to cross from the southern shores vastly outnumber any of the available legal opportunities to migrate. This plays into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, and the resulting clandestine sea passages in overcrowded and dilapidated vessels have proved fatal for thousands of irregular migrants.
This report, compiled by the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) focuses on migration dynamics between Morocco and the European Union. Based on an extensive survey of 2,500 Moroccan households in five provinces in Morocco as well as in five Spanish regions, the study analyses the reasons for migration and identifies social, economic and regional policy issues that need to be addressed in order to moderate the existing migration pressure.
The report also offers some explanations as to why the actual amount of migrants is significantly lower than the number of those who express such an intention. The study is part of the larger “Push and Pull” research project on migration from the southern and eastern Mediterranean region and from sub-Saharan Africa to the European Union, conducted by NIDI and Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission.