Mediterranean Dialogue
Ceuta: A new El Dorado?


©   Victoriano Izquierdo / Unsplash

Recently, migration has once again been the center of attention on the European political agenda. In May, 8.000 people entered Ceuta, crossing the border in just one day. On this occasion, the focus was on the large number of unaccompanied minors and young people who were part of the groups of migrants aiming to reach Europe through the border crossing. But what are the young people looking for in Europe and, above all, what will they find?

 In an interview, María Miyar gives us an overview of the integration of young migrants in Spain – speaking about the education system and incorporation to the labor market.

One of your research studies on young people of immigrant origin pointed out several relevant aspects regarding education and the labor market. Do you consider that young people are not adequately included in economic integration proposals?

A fundamental aspect is the combination of two perspectives that is absent in economic integration policies - education and labor market. We cannot forget that young migrants share the same problems as native youth, such as scarcity of resources and dropping out of the school system. We cannot isolate this social issue as being exclusive to young migrants.

The perspective of migrant integration has to be broad and not only focused on this group. It is essential to protect all young people from poverty and increase their resources, regardless of their origin.

María Miyar
María Miyar © FNF Madrid Euro Mena Show

What opportunities do young migrants have when it comes to entrepreneurship in Spain?

In the Spanish case, the administrative burden of being an entrepreneur is very high, which makes this not the first option for the migrant population. It is necessary for the public administration to support the migrant population, with more efficient administrative processes.

However, it should not be forgotten that education and the labor market go hand in hand. It is important for young migrants to remain in the education system, but this depends fundamentally on the economic cycle. In good economic times, young people prefer to integrate quickly into the labor market and earn an income. However, this situation does not guarantee long-term solutions, so it is still important to promote public policies that allow this group of young people to remain in the school system.

María Miyar is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology II (Social Structure) at UNED. Where she obtained her PhD in Sociology in 2012. Her thesis addressed the quality of Spanish statistics in the measurement of migration flows, especially the Padrón Municipal Continuo. Furthermore, her main publications analyzed the integration of immigrants into the labor market, the evolution of migration flows and the quality of Spanish migration statistics.