Questions about migration regularly hit the headlines in Europe, notably the arrival in the European Union of illegal immigrants via the Spanish Canary Islands. The stated aim of the member countries of the EU in this regard is to check the flows of migrants from the South or, ideally, to practise "selective immigration" (Nicolas Sarkozy).
An alternative approach is possible, according to Antoine Pécoud and Paul de Guchteneire: "migration without borders", in other words the free movement of people throughout the world. They argue that, in an increasingly globalized economic system in which international trade in goods and services is growing steadily, it will become less and less logical not to allow "free" movement of individuals - especially, they add, given that restrictions on migration at the personal level potentially run the risk, in law, of infringing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under which the right to emigrate is protected.
This article describes, first, current changes in migration controls and the factors in favour of migration without borders; it then sets out in greater detail the ethical, economic, social and practical aspects of implementing the free movement of people. It is mainly inspired by a Unesco study of this subject and the existing literature. Although the argument may appear utopian, it has the merit of raising a number of questions which will undoubtedly arise with increasing urgency in the near future.