The purpose of The Role of Binational Entrepreneurs as Social and Economic Bridge Builders between Europe and North Africa is to show academics and practitioners the importance of the role of European binationals. It contains chapters by professional practitioners from a number of countries and business, and from journalists and security agencies members. Main issues discussed are the principle features of successful integration of North African immigrants into French and Spanish societies and the causes and symptoms of dysfunctional integration; how a partnership network can be established between the Maghreb diaspora in France and Spain and their parent countries, what the obstacles of such a network are and what can be used to develop it; how emigrants of dual nationality are viewed in their countries of origin and how the process of social reintegration can be assured; if dual nationals can play a role in giving an impetus to economic growth in North African countries and if France and Spain can adopt measures to facilitate this process; the respective roles of government and NGOs and international organisations; and how relevant the lessons are that can be learned from this case study to the relationships between other immigrant populations and their host countries. This book includes some suggestions for action discussed in the workshop prior to this publication.
A continuous stream of immigration difficult to control and an immigrant community that European countries are having difficulty, in part, to integrate, spark off today numerous questions about the security risks, trafficking of all kinds, terrorist networks which may tempt some of them.
Many studies have underlined that terrorism is recruiting not only in countries of origin of many immigrants in Europe, but also within immigrant communities themselves. Some are young people who have received a good technical education, others live existential difficulties (academic and professional failure) due to the inability of states to integrate them into society in the wider sens.
Despite these difficulties and formidable challenges faced by countries like France and the United Kingdom, we have chosen a theme of hope. Indeed, diversity is today one of the fundamental characteristics of the French, English, Dutch, German – and more and more Spanish – societies. France is a land of immigration since the mid-nineteenth century, the United Kingdom since the end of the same century, other European countries in recent decades. In Spain, the phenomenon dates not more than a decade.
France and the UK know from experience that these ethnic diversities are not inevitably source of differences. They probably require to take up common challenges, to move forward, to make of this diversity an asset. Since recent years, some voices raise in Europe, and sometimes in the Maghreb, to emphasize the magnitude of the challenges with which the European countries are confronted.
We considere that immigration and ethnic diversity are both inevitable and positive in any modern society. In the short term, they constitute a challenge to the cohesion of our country. But in the long term, a society that welcomes immigrants renews its cohesion by deconstructing the lines of ethnic differences and by providing a wider sense of its identity.
Education, popular culture and employment offer powerful symbols of integration and the issue of these two days will focus on new entrepreneurs of North African origin, but also Indian and Pakistan, who in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and in Spain, more recently, carry the hope of this new identity.
These entrepreneurs are of diverse political color and often kept links with the countries of origin of their parents, return there, create more and more companies, invest money and themselves, and go, to do this, to China, India, the USA and Canada. They are bearers of hope and renewal for Europe and the countries where their parents came, from the other shore of the Mediterranean.
These entrepreneurs should be viewed in a context where some figures should be reminded. A flow, estimated between 5 and 10 billion, passes by from Europe to the three Maghreb countries each year. By way of comparison, the amount of direct investment from Europe, and realised since 2000 in the same countries, is of $4.5 billion, international aids (loans) that a country like Morocco receives each year amount to 320 million euros from Europe (MEDA and EIB), $189 million from the World Bank and the IFC, and $164 million from the ADB. 5 to 10 billion mentioned above are not only the transfer of migrant workers, they constitute also a capital seeking for long-term investment, which don't find instruments adapted to their needs.
The funds transferred to Morocco, which are steadily increasing, represent over 50% of the country's exports and are higher than those generated by the tourism and the export of phosphates.
If we considere that the Maghreb exports nearly 7 billion euros in savings each year, we understand better the conclusion of the report from which these figures are taken and which concludes that Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco are establishing middle classes outside their borders. Numerous entrepreneurs, binational or not, want to keep one foot on each side of the mare nostrum and, at the same time, explore China, India, the USA, Canada and the Gulf countries which have a significant supplementary savings.
However, the Maghreb countries are a little behind. The functioning of their production system is often dissuasive for investment and risk-taking institutions. The freedom of circulation of capital, goods and people is restricted; the consumption of financial products low. Compared to a set of Asian countries – of which the immigrants in the West have played an important role in the development of the economy since a generation and with whom they were matched up until the mid-1970s – these countries dropped out.
This seminar will focus on the following issues:
– Can these entrepreneurs contribute to the development of the importantrelationships, in many respects, that exist between Europe and the Maghreb? In the development of creative private enterprises of wealth, not only in Europe but also in the Maghreb? Can they help to insert the Maghreb into the globalization? Can they make their contribution to the integration of young immigrants or the sons/daughters of immigrants in a modern economic fabric?
– Can they help to erase these infernal couples which connect immigrants and Islam, Islam and crises of the Middle East, Islam and terrorism, Islam and social exclusion, not to speak of Islam and Islamic values which are inevitably put in opposition with Western values and, why not, Christian values?
This seminar is modest but will try to ask important questions for the future of the Maghreb and Europe by pointing the spotlight on a category which, through the history of civilizations, has always carried the dialogue and the peace.
Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406) wrote in The Muqaddimah that “it was through trade with foreign countries that the satisfaction of the people's needs, the profits of the merchants and the wealth of the countries, grew”.
The Chancellor of Florence, who was his contemporary, Colucci Salutati di Piero (1331–1406), pointed out, however, that “the pilgrimage is a holy action, the justice is it even more and the holiest thing of all, for us, is the trade”.
What to add after six centuries to such comments except that those who attend this seminary will doubtless have in heart to rediscover the philosophy of the 13th century.
Francis Ghilès, Director of the Seminar and Fatima Lahnait, Co-Director of the Seminar
The West keeps trying to understand what's on the other side of the Mediterranean. The notion that someone not sharing your cultural and ethnic background is seen as the Other is not recent. Our perception of the Other, especially the Muslim, passes through the media, which role is crucial in the formation of ethnic perceptions of the Other. Recent years have witnessed the publication of numerous academic books dedicated to that topic.
La culture est l'expression de la dignité de l'humain, et la culture imposée est ressentie comme une agression qui débouche sur le repli identitaire. En cette période de globalisation, c'est l'ouverture du Monde qui passe par la culture et non seulement celle du Maghreb. L'ignorance est mère de tous les maux, elle incite à la peur de l'autre, au rejet et à la haine.
Culture is the expression of the human being's dignity. And the imposed culture is felt as an aggression which results in the identical fold. In this period of globalization, the opening of the world crosses the culture and not only the North African one. The ignorance is the mother of all the troubles, it incites to the fear of the other one, to the refusal and to the hatred.
This proposal is for a Grassroots Programme commencing in 2007 and running for three years across Britain, delivered with young Muslim “ambassadors”. We aim to create a network of arts and sports bodies that is linked to a new network of cultural and sporting activists in the Muslim grassroots. By doing this we are giving responsibility and support to British Muslims to become a part of the mainstream in order to create a self-supporting network of cultural and sporting leaders.
Joining the Dots is addressing the social and cultural issues contributing to the alienation of young Muslims from British society via the arts (including performing arts workshops for women), sport and national food celebrations (we include food within cultural expressions). The participation of Muslims in “Britishness” needs to be balanced by the honouring and inclusion of their own cultural and sporting expressions. By doing this we are supporting British Muslims in reclaiming their middle ground and finding a cultural voice.
Since the beginning of the new millenium, a heated debate has been taking place in the Netherlands on multi-cultural society. After the political revolution that Pim Fortuyn caused in 2002, people's ideas are changing. Consensus on multi-cultural society as a successful project disappears to make room for rather negative evaluations. Politicians from different ideologies claim that multi-cultural society is a failure. Politicians, opinion leaders and media icons are involved in this loud debate, which cannot be seen loose from the debate on the status of the European Union and the position the Netherlands hold in it. Serious doubts concerning the future of the European Union have led to the rejection of the proposal for the European Constitution on June 1st 2005.
In this article the 21st century debate on the relation between church and state in the Netherlands will be placed in an historical context followed by the presentation of some considerations on the issue of the relation between the internal debate on multiculturalism, emphasising the role of Islam, and the debate on the position and future of the Netherlands in the European Union. Islam is a new religion in the Netherlands but Islam isn't the first religion that tries to find a place in Dutch society. From the late Middle Ages onwards there have been different groups of Jews coming to the Low Countries. In the course of ages they underwent processes of so called acculturation. In the 17th and 18th century Jews were a group in a disadvantaged position. But they were not the only ones. The Catholic part of the people also had a legally inferior position in that period. In the years afterwards other cultural groups came to look for a place in the Netherlands. In the 19th and 20th century it concerned people from the former Dutch Indies. Later people arrived from Surinam and the Dutch Antilles and after that it were among others labourers that came from Turkey and Morocco, both of which are Islamic countries.
In Turkey small minorities of Jews and Christians live as well. The great majority of the people has an Islamic background though.
Dutch society has had a long tradition in dealing with cultural groups with different religions.
Les Maghrébins sont-ils perçus comme des extra-terrestres ? Qui sont-ils ? Le Maghreb rêvé existe-t-il ? Driss Ksikes décortique cette problématique et dresse ici le portrait des Maghrébins de façon ironique et pertinente à la fois. Il établit un bilan controversé et contrasté du concept d'appartenance Maghrébine.
Who are the North African? Some Extra-terrestrials who look for a common identity? Is the dreamed “Maghreb” a reality? Driss Ksikes goes through this theory and draw up here their picture, ironic and pertinent at the same time. He sets out a disputed and constrating statement of the North African belonging concept.
Le Maghreb souhaite que sa diaspora contribue de façon conséquente à son développement économique et social à l'instar des diasporas chinoise et indienne. S'agit-il là d'un simple voeu pieux ou est-ce que cet espoir peut se concrétiser ? Dans un contexte de mondialisation et d'une Europe soumise à une concurrence acharnée, les binationaux constituent une chance pour la dynamisation de la coopération de l'Europe avec le Maghreb. Ils sont en effet des ponts entre les rives Nord et Sud de la Méditerranée. Cette perspective permettrait de leur donner un sens existentiel et de leur offrir un rôle social à jouer. Il convient d'exploiter les liens linguistiques, culturels et financiers existants entre les binationaux et leurs pays d'origine pour construire une zone de prospérité partagée entre les deux rives de la Méditerranée.
The Maghreb wants its diaspora to contribute significantly to its economic and social development like the Chinese and Indian diaspora. Is this a mere wishful thinking or can this hope be achieved? In this context of globalization and with Europe subject to fierce competition, binationals represent an opportunity for boosting cooperation between Europe and the Maghreb. They are indeed the bridges between North and South shores of the Mediterranean. This prospect would give them a sense of existence and provide a social role to play. It is appropriate to exploit the linguistic, cultural and financial resources between the binationals and their countries of origin to build a zone of shared prosperity between the two shores of the Mediterranean.
Pourquoi les Chinois de la diaspora investissent-ils massivement en Chine alors que les Maghrébins qui travaillent en dehors de leurs pays ne le font pas ? La diaspora maghrébine en particulier pourrait-elle s'inspirer des diasporas chinoise et indienne dont le rôle d'encouragement à la libéralisation économique dans leurs pays d'origine a été si important depuis une génération ? Force est de constater qu'au Maghreb le rôle économique des diasporas est mineur, l'essentiel des fonds rapatriés par les travailleurs immigrés étant consacré à acheter des biens de consommation. Le rôle de la diaspora a pris une ampleur exceptionnelle en Chine, à la mesure de la croissance très forte de l'économie du pays : on estime que deux tiers des investissements directs étrangers proviennent de la diaspora. Même si un tel phénomène a peu de chances de se reproduire en Afrique du Nord avec une telle ampleur, pourrait-il influer sur le rythme de croissance économique du Maroc, de la Tunisie et de l'Algérie ?
Why does the Chinese diaspora invest heavily in China, while North Africans working outside their countries do not? Could the North African diaspora, in particular, draw inspiration from Chinese and Indian diaspora whose role of promoting economic liberalization in their countries of origin has been so important in a generation? The point is that the economic role of the North African diasporas is minor, the bulk of remittances by migrant workers being spent to purchase consumer goods. The role of the diaspora has taken exceptional magnitude in China, in the measure of the very strong growth of the economy of the country: it is estimated that two thirds of the foreign direct investments are from the diaspora. Even if such a phenomenon is unlikely to be repeated in North Africa with such a scale, could it affect the pace of economic growth in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria?
L'auteur s'inspire de son expérience personnelle, en tant que binational franco-marocain, et professionnelle, en tant que dirigeant d'entreprise, pour suggérer des solutions qui permettront aux binationaux d'être visibles dans la société et d'être des acteurs du développement dans leurs pays d'origine. Selon lui, cela passe par le développement de réseaux structurés et étendus.
The author draws on his personal experience, as a bi-national Franco-Moroccan, and professional, as a company director, to suggest solutions that will allow dual nationals to be visible in society and be actors of development in their countries of origin. According to him, it passes through the development of structured and extended networks.
Le profil social de la communauté marocaine à l'étranger a considérablement changé ces dernières décennies. D'une population essentiellement ouvrière, masculine, analphabète issue des contrées rurales du Maroc, nous avons aujourd'hui une communauté multicarte : 1ère génération, binationaux, femmes, enfants, chef d'entreprises, cadres, fonctionnaires, ouvriers, artistes, ... C'est dans cette nouvelle dynamique que doit être appréhendé la transformation des flux financiers entre le Maroc et les pays d'accueil.
The social profile of the Moroccan community abroad considerably changed these last decades. Of an essentially labor, male, illiterate population native from rural parts of Morocco, we have a multicard community today: first generation, binationals, women, children, manager, executives, civil servants, workers, artists,... It is in this new dynamics that must be understood the transformation of the financial streams between Morocco and host countries.
Le tourisme est aujourd'hui un des premiers moteurs de l'économie dans le monde.La Méditerranée représente un tiers des flux mondiaux : il y a eu, en 2006, plus de 842 millions d'arrivées de touristes internationaux dans le monde, sans compter le milliard et demi de touristes visitant ou en vacances dans leur propre pays. Dans le total méditerranéen, les déplacements des diasporas seraient de plus de 10%, c'est-à-dire environ 35 millions de personnes de la première ou deuxième génération, sans compter un tourisme ethnique ou de pèlerinage interrégional vers Israël ou l'Arabie Saoudite, de l'ordre de 3 à 4 millions.
Sources : extrapolations de l'auteur à partir des données de l'OMT et des instituts de statistiques nationales d'Espagne, France, Italie, Chypre, Turquie.
The tourism is one of the first driving force of the economy in the world today. The Mediterranean Sea represents a third of the world flows: there was, in 2006, more than 842 million arrivals of international tourists in the world, without counting the billion and half of tourists visiting or on holidays in their own country. In the Mediterranean total, the movements of Diasporas would be more than 10 %, that is approximately 35 million persons of the first or the second generation, without counting an ethnic tourism or of inter-regional pilgrimage towards Israel or Saudi Arabia, of the order of 3 in 4 millions.
Sources (Springs): extrapolations of the author from the data of the OMT and the institutes of national statistics of Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey.
The main purpose of this article is to launch the debate on the important issue of ethnic minority entrepreneurs.
My working definition of ethnic minority entrepreneurs is that of entrepreneurs who are either immigrants or have an immigrant background.
This workshop offers us a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the important contribution to Western economies already made by ethnic minority entrepreneurs and their potential to act as economic and social bridges with respect to their home countries. We all recognize the importance of entrepreneurship for competitiveness, jobs and growth, and also its potential contribution to social cohesion. As expressed by Erkki Likaneen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society: “If we want Europe to become more competitive and a more dynamic knowledge-based economy, as agreed by our leaders in Lisbon three years ago, we need more entrepreneurs. And immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial”.
Conference on Ethnic Entrepreneurship held in Brussels, the 26th of June, 2003.
Indeed, the Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe Published by the European Commission highlights the fact that Europe still lacks entrepreneurial drive with one outstanding exception: Ethnic minority entrepreneurs, who throughout the European Union display a very strong capacity and potential for entrepreneurship!
Las migraciones humanas son un fenómeno constante a lo largo de la historia de la humanidad. Desde mediados del Siglo XVI, más de 350 millones personas han abandonado sus países de origen para instalarse en otros. La mitad de estos inmigrantes eran europeos.
Malgesini, G. (1993) Anuario CIP 1993-92: Retos del fin de siglo. Nacionalismo, migración, medio ambiente, CIP: Icaria, Barcelona.
Integration in the host country of the binationals is most of the time silent. The Moroccan workers settled in Europe have one main issue: to send back to the home country as much money as they can. By doing so, they contribute to the economic growth of their region of origine, they sustain their families and villages, they promote education and development. In 2007, the remittances transfered by Moroccans reached more than 4 billions of euros.
Les transferts de devises réalisés par les binationaux maghrébins représentent des sommes importantes, près de 8 milliards d'euros, dont près de 5 milliards d'euros pour le Maroc. Ces transferts ne cessent d'augmenter et si l'utilisation de ces fonds n'est pas organisé, leur utilisation change : on passe du soutien financier aux familles dans les pays d'origine à des investissements dans l'immobilier. Ces flux peuvent contribuer au développement de la région.
Foreign currency transfers made by Maghrebin binationals represent large amounts: nearly 8 billion euros, from which nearly 5 billion euros go to Morocco. These transfers are increasing and the use of these funds is not organized, varying from a financial support to their families in the countries of origin to invest in real estate. These flows can contribute to the development of the region.
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