European Commission - 7th Framework Programme European Museums and Libraries in/of the age of migrations last updated: February 2015

Moroccan Migrations. Transformations, Transitions and Future Prospects

22-24 May 2014

Fez, Morocco | Euro-Mediterranean University


The Euro-Mediterranean University in Fez and the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford are organising an interdisciplinary workshop on the transformations, transitions and future prospects of Moroccan migration. Experienced and early career (PhD students and post-doctoral students) researchers currently working on Moroccan migration are invited to submit contributions. The purpose of the workshop is to advance the understanding of past and present changes in Moroccan migration, as well as identify the wider social, economic, cultural, demographic and political transformations explaining these trends.

The workshop

Over the second half of the 20th century, Morocco has become one of the world’s major emigration countries. Despite increasing immigration restrictions since the early 1970s, Moroccan emigration has shown a striking persistence and has become more diversified, both in terms of destination countries and origin regions within Morocco. Focusing first on France, Moroccan emigration turned towards southern Europe in the 1990s and more recently to North America, especially for skilled migration. Since 1995, Morocco has over taken Turkey as the main source of non-EU migrant labour.

However, Morocco’s role in the Euro-African migration system and its migration status started to change at the beginning of the 21st century. One the one hand, the Global Economic Crisis has slowed Moroccan emigration, while on the other hand, it seems to be evolving into a destination country for migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and elsewhere. The growing presence of immigrants confronts Moroccan society with an entirely new set of social and legal issues typical for immigration countries, and the latest decisions taken by Morocco in terms of migration policy confirms a growing official awareness of this change in status.

The objectives of this workshop is to link the empirical analysis of Moroccan migration to contemporary migration theories, to increase the understanding of the nature and drivers of Moroccan migration, and to amend and improve existing migration theories, in which the Moroccan migration experience has remained remarkably absent.



The promoters invite contributions to the workshop that address one or more of the following themes:

1. Migration transitions: Given the economic and demographic changes, as well as trends in internal and international migration in Morocco, can we speak of a starting migration transition in Morocco?

▶ How can we explain the paradox of a continuing and even accelerating Moroccan emigration despite increasing restrictions on access to countries of destination?
▶ Is the gradual establishment of Sub-Saharan migrants a temporary and/or relatively marginal phenomenon, or should we consider it a first step in the process of settlement?
▶ How can we explain the growth and diversification of Moroccan emigration, while emigration from neighbouring countries, Tunisia and Algeria in particular, has remained more limited and focused on France?

2. Migration and transformations of Moroccan society: Given the intrinsic link between wider societal changes and migration flows, what do past and contemporary migration patterns tell us about the transformation of Moroccan society?

▶ How can the persistence of emigration, the emergence of new destinations, and return migration be explained from changing aspirations and culture(s) of migration?
▶ Is the emergence of a vibrant civil society around migrants’ rights in Morocco a sign of an emerging ‘integration’ process and policy?
▶ How can we interpret the recent political decisions in Morocco on the regularisation of irregular migrants in light of national and international political developments?

3. Moroccan migration futures: Based on our deepening understanding of the drivers of past and contemporary Moroccan migration trends, what can we say about the different ways Moroccan migration may evolve in the future?

▶ Are current immigration patterns and the post-2008 decline of emigration precursors for Morocco’s future transition into a country of net immigration (the ‘Turkish scenario’)?
▶ Based on economic, demographic and technological trends in Morocco and in destination countries, how can we assess the future emigration potential of Morocco?
▶ How is increasing education and change in gender relations likely to affect the composition of future Moroccan emigration?


Authors should submit an abstract of 250 words in English or French to imi(at) by 28 February 2014 at the latest. The summary must be accompanied by the author’s name and affiliation (institution and department), email address, and a brief biography.

Authors will be notified by 1 April 2014 and receive their invitation to participate in the workshop. Final papers must be submitted by 1 May 2014.

Articles can be submitted either in French or English however, the workshop (presentations and discussions) will be held in French only.


» link to the Conference