Agriculture, food production and labour migration in Southern Europe

Tomato harvest near Lakopetra in North-West Peloponnese

On the occasion of the 10th Summit of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, co-chaired by Germany and Marocco, the Heinrich Boell Foundation published three studies on the impact of labour migration in Southern-European agriculture.

The following studies analyze the situation of labour migrants in Greece, Italy and Spain and provide up-to-date and profound information.

Who picks tomatoes and strawberries, who grazes the sheeps?

Aspects and interdependencies of labour migration in the Southern European agriculture

Migrant Crop Pickers in Italy and Spain

Crop-picking in both Italy and Spain, increasingly depends on migrant workers. The paper analyzes the most important aspects of recruitment strategies, living conditions and institutional regulations in both countries.

Immigrant Shepherds in Southern Europe

In many southern montane regions of the EU, the growing presence of immigrants has come to counterbalance the decline and ageing of the local rural populations and agricultural workforce. The paper examines problems as well as potentials of this development.  


The United Nations General Assembly met in September 2016 and adopted the “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants”. With this declaration the United Nation acknowledges “a shared responsibility to manage large movements of refugees and migrants in a humane, sensitive, compassionate and people-centered manner.” In order to comply with this shared international responsibility, a process was initiated, which should result in the adoption of a global pact for or safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018.

For the duration of this process, Germany and Morocco have assumed the co-chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2018. During this two-year period, the focus will be on the contribution of the GFMD to the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration.