Hein de Haas

Migration Matters

How has migration to Europe changed over time?

Since the summer of 2015, the world has gotten to know a new Europe – one shaken by a perceived crisis of migrants and refugees. Human beings in distress are images now irrevocably tied to the shores of Italy or Greece. But is this the reality? Are migrants, indeed, overrunning Europe? No, says one of the world’s leading migration researchers and Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, Hein de Haas.

1. How has migration to Europe changed over time?

  • What has really changed is the number of people from other continents coming into Europe
  • Europe has changed from being a global source of migrants to a global destination
  • For four centuries prior to WWII, Europeans were moving out of Europe
  • Consequences to traditional countries of European settlement

2. Is migration to europe higher than it’s ever been?

  • Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • Migration from within European continent vs. from without
  • Not unprecedented numbers, but unprecedented diversity, particularly in big cities in Europe