L. Codogno: CAN ITALY’S IMMIGRATION CRISIS TRIGGER SOCIO-POLITICAL DISRUPTIONS?
Can the on-going EU immigration crisis become more severe and relevant socio-political stability? In this commentary, I focus on Italy, which is at the forefront of the crisis. The crisis has many facets, and I deliberately leave out the humanitarian, geo-political, military, security or even religious aspects to focus only on demographic and possible socio-political implications.
Why the immigration problem may become particularly sensitive in Italy? I try to describe the extent of the problem in Italy vis-à-vis other EU countries, with data, trends and possible solutions.
The conclusion is that a possible contagion may come from the socio- political reaction of the electorate in several countries, including Italy. Moreover, contagion could also come in the form of lack of confidence in the political leadership of the EU and its ability to act, failing to both address the near-term emergency and grasp the long-term strategic consequences. Following the disappointing outcome of the European Council at the end of June, the risk is real.