immigrationLast year, the European Commission issued its 2012 Ageing Report (PDF), warning that Europe needs to start preparing now for a demographic shift towards an older population supported by a shrinking share of people of working age. The report predicts that nearly one third of Europeans will be 65 or over by 2060, and that the share of those aged 15-64 is projected to decline from 67% to 56%. In other words, this would mean a shift from 4 working-age people for every pensioner to just 2.

According to the report, the fertility rate in the EU in 2010 was just 1.59 births per woman, and this is only predicted to rise very slightly to 1.71 births per woman by 2060. Obviously, this is less than the replacement rate (which is roughly 2 births per woman), and so Europe’s population would be expected to decline over this period. Net migration into the EU, however, is projected to add up to about 60 million by 2060, which would see the EU’s population remain stable at about 500 million.

Immigration, of course, is a controversial topic in Europe (and it’s an issue we’ve covered earlier: here and here). We had a comment sent in from Juan, arguing the following:

People in Europe complain all the time that we’re overpopulated, but in fact the opposite is true: we’re slowly fading away in Europe. Like the Japanese, Europe’s solution to problems is called having more babies, since Europeans seem to oppose immigration almost unanimously and say immigrants are making problems bigger. On the contrary, they’ve helped made them less acute if anything. Too many resources are going towards paying pension plans and other social programs, but the system is already being put under pressure.

Historically, two of the countries with the highest immigration rates in the EU have been Germany and the UK. However, only last month it was reported that UK net migration has fallen by a third, whilst Germany, meanwhile, has been forced to relax its immigration controls in certain sectors to “alleviate chronic shortages in areas such as engineering, train driving and plumbing.”


By 2060, rather than courting the anti-immigration vote, will politicians be competing with one another to attract the most young immigrants into their workforces?

Immigration_small

We spoke to William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, to ask him to respond to Juan’s comment. Here’s what he had to say:

lacy-speaks

I think Juan’s comment is a very accurate statement of the challenge that Europe is faced with, and it’s certainly in line with the trends as we know them today. There’s no question there is a negative demographic trend in Europe, and in 20-30 years, Europe will be dependent on labour coming from outside its borders. Migration alone may not be sufficient to meet this shortage, but it will be the main source for filling the gap left by the negative replacement rate.

Governments and political leaders need to face up to the trends of the time and encourage public education and programmes to prepare the population for large-scale immigration to their countries, which is probably inevitable given demographic trends. Immigration is necessary if the European economy is to thrive, but it’s also desirable: migrants bring a catalytic element to societies, encourage innovation, and they sometimes have a better work ethic than the native population.

How much can we really trust the figures, though? We had a comment sent in from Tedz, who believes that: “In the UK we have so many illegal immigrants the government have to pluck a figure out of thin air because they have not a clue!”

It’s very inexact. There are a good deal of estimations out there, but it’s very hard to get close to the final figure. In our World Migration Report, which is the International Organization for Migration’s flagship publication, two years ago we devoted it to the question of public perceptions and attitudes to migration globally, conducting Gallup polls in several industrialised countries. We found that nationals and native-born citizens tended to over-estimate by a large percentage the total number of migrants in their country. So, there is a general tendency to over-estimate, encouraged by the concern that migrants represent a threat to their personal identity.

What do YOU think? How can Europe solve the problem of an ageing population supported by a shrinking number of people of working age? Would increased levels of immigration help compensate for Europe’s low birthrate? Or would this merely lead to increased social problems and the rise of anti-immigration parties? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.


55 comments Post a commentComment


  1. Aleksejs Miščuks

    Latvia has more than 100k unemployed people, what demographic problems are we talking about?What immigration if there are no jobs?European countries should focus on empolying their population, than trying to create an artificial “immigration yes/no” problem.

    • Jeanne Griffin

      I agree with Aleksejs. With the soaring unemployment amongst Europe’s youth, why would we need immigrants to fill jobs that do not exist?!!!! Most people I know have at least two children, sometimes three. This low European birthrate scaremongering is just an excuse to engage in social engineering which means to replace Europe’s indigenous population with migrants from the Third World.

  2. Vicente Silva Tavares

    This is a debate out of the time. When unemployment is so huge in Europe, how it is possible to talk about immigration? Particularly that the no-European immigrants are generally unskilled and uneducated. Then, the low birth rate is not in all countries. France and Sweden have positive birthrates. It is a question of copying their policies.

  3. Bastian

    Never before have so many people by numbers lived in Europe as today, and part of the EU establishment asks for more immigration. Are they cracy? The EU has produced up to 50% youth unemployment in Spain and Greece, and still wants more immigration. What kind of mind do these people have who govern us? Large scale immigration means to transform Europe from an highly successful socio-cultural millieu as it was for centuries into a mere location of making money and consumption. This is not the Europe I want for my children. I say no to “Eurabia” or any other non-European Europe, which would be the consequence of immigration.

    • Ed

      I would like to ask you the same question, “Are you crazy?”. From what I can understand from your comment, you are totally missing the point about this debate.

    • Bastian

      Ed,
      And where is your contribution? Where are your ideas?

  4. Albert Saxén

    Free circulation. Combined with ,yes, breaking the barriers/dams freeing the capital allowing it to flow freely thru the markets.:)i love the markets. With the ppl following it.
    Because now as it stands it has bn, due to numerous (ill-effected) social policies, stacked up..so that it can’t.

    We need some hardcore capitalism to offset the socialism brought forth in europe ..

  5. Christos Mouzeviris

    Jobs and education…. If young people have jobs as soon as they finish their studies they will be more likely to leave the nest and of course start a family of their own…. If they do not have jobs they are forced to live with their parents well into their 30s… How you want to have more kids in Europe if European families start at 40?

  6. Nikolai Holmov

    Ultimately in order to support the aging populations, pensions and medical care et al., which are at the heart of many national systems, there will need to be a young working, tax paying population large enough to support all the elderly living ever longer – unless expectations on the State are reduced.

    With reduced demographics from native populations, the ready answer is, of course, inwards migration on the assumption they will work and produce GDP and taxation.

    It is though not the only answer as I allude to above.

    If native populations do not want a large inward working migratory population, then it is time to look at the expectations on the State and reduce them to a sustainable level whereby the most needy do not get discarded from society.

    More pressure on the middle class? Definitely.

    As it is the middle class that act as the oil on the waters between rich and poor, the political decision is then, how far can you push the middle class in either reducing their expectations from the State – or by allowing sufficient inwards working and tax paying migration to support their expectations.

    In doing either to the extreme, it is of course, quite possible to almost extinguish the middle class and thus remove the calming influence it has between rich and poor – which will then become a different kind of problem, possibly one that could become volatile as time ticks by.

    Anybody looking for an easy answer whereby there is no immigration, falling domestic demographics and yet a sustained and deliverable expectation on the State had better hope that they discover huge national commodity reserves that can be sold to fill the budget gaps that are occurring.

    Failing that, there are only hard choices with less than perfect outcomes.

    • Bastian

      Nikolai,
      The claim that we will get older and older is a propaganda myth of those who want both, reduce our social security systems and at the same time lower incomes by importing cheap labour. Just look at the USA, they are an immigration country, but that didn’t reduce pressure from middle class, the opposite is true. The USA so far has also a lower life expectancy than Europe. But also in Europe life expectancy will decline, because the EU establishment is leading us the American way. It is not only the thinning out of our social security systems but the life style our young generations are drawn in. I meet young people on an everyday base and can observe how many more than in previous generations are in a process of self-destruction (drugs, food, stress, unemployment etc.). Recently I saw a UK study which came to the same conclusion. Certainly, some Europeans on top of society will get older, yes, but not the average.
      The phenomenon of aging population needs a complete different approach than immigration. But I am afraid the EU political and bureaucratic establishment is much too much under group and peers pressure that they could any other ideas than following the short term thinkers of the (financial) markets. I have been in the Commission and I know the mechanisms of producing comformity there. From there Europe cannot expect any solutions which go beyond the lobbying agents present there. It is not the fault of the individual member but of the political correct system.

    • Nikolai Holmov

      You can explain then the ever increasing life expectancy across the European continent over the past few hundred years (discounting wars) as propaganda?

      Even here in Ukraine, which is a long way behind European norms, life expectancy is greater than it was 100 years ago. Therefore there are a lot more old people and with contraception giving the choice of when and if child birth occurs, this has no effect on demographics?

      This is a myth you say?

      The answer to the EUs problems when it comes to legacy of welfare systems and their projections have nothing to do with demographics and the ability of the State to pay for the expectations?

      I am not sure where in my comment I said the squeeze on the middle class wouldn’t happen. Either way, as I said, it will happen – either “national identity” will be squeezed to the dislike of the middle class through immigration – or the State will not be able to support the expectations of the middle class when they get old.

      Both options squeeze the middle class one way or another. That is what I stated.

      The issue is how to squeeze it both by immigration and either expectancy deliver/reduction of expectancy and yet leave it sufficiently strong enough to act as the buffer between the rich and poor.

      A policy and political dilemma.

      As for comparative studies with the USA, empirical comment is not enough given the large policy differences between the systems. It would have to be carefully modeled to take into account the differences and the modeling published so it could be scrutinised if it is to mean anything worthy of reading.

    • Bastian

      Ofcourse we had rising life expectancy and in some parts of Europe it is still rising. But it is in no way certain that it will continue like this. Think about Russia after the collaps of the SU, I don’t know about the Ukraine, when life expectancy started to decline. Do you have figures how it is now? What I said is that the current young generation, call it the post 1990 EU generation, has much harder living conditions than any post WWII generation up to the 90s, at least in the non-communist central Euopean countries like Germany, Austria, Italy etc. It is from this that I do not expect increasing life expectancy for the future, although at the moment it is still growing. I am talking about the post 1990 EU generation. Obesity, smoking, stress, existential uncertainty, anomia etc. among youngsters, all that is increasing. EU policies have their share in this unpleasant development.
      Yes, the pre 1990 generations will still grow older, but after this hump the demographic situation will most likely relax, except the EU establishment forces masses of immigrants on us in a false hope on GDP growth.
      However, what so far has been completely neglected in the immigration discourse is its impact on global environment. Every immigrant from a country with a better CO2 ratio than his/her destination in Europe has a negative effect on the global environmental situation.

    • Dionator

      I think you’re misunderstanding the notion of “immigration” in this context. It’s not about opening the borders to hundreds of immigrants, it means creating a mechanism through which individuals from outside the EU who have a potential to ease the demographic decline of Europe (which you call a myth and propaganda without justifying your claims). By 2050 Germany is projected to have a third of it’s population in retirement. The problem is so self-evident in Germany that in recent years there’s been a boom in the number of self-defense institutions training those on the verge of retirement on self-defense technics. It is true the EU should first look within its border for the “surplus” population and use encourage them to migrate into regions where they are most needed, but that not a simple solution.
      Faced with austere financial means it will eventually be inevitable to procure cheaper labor. The EU as it stands faces a massive shortage of nurses and this will be a problem for the fact that there are fear people studying nursing studies within the EU and I don’t think you want to wait a long period of time for a new generation to have nursing training while your loved ones are sick in hospital. Be realistic and forget the nostalgia of the “good old days” when your generation didn’t “smoke, take drugs” and the likes.
      It’s a globalised world we can’t fight it anymore than we can negotiate with it. It comes with its own rules and it’s about time we adjusted our system to fit current demographic trends instead of trying to hard to keep the status-quo for the sake of maintaining a reality that is possible on a time long relegated to the past by time.

    • Nikolai Holmov

      Indeed everything is cyclical – to a degree.
      Inevitably when the baby boomers all eventually die then theoretically there will be a decrease in the number of old people vis a vis young – at least that would have been the case if birth rates had remained constant.
      One of the main issues looking forwards (way past my death) is increasing domestic birth rates. That is not necessarily as easy as it sounds. How do you encourage women to have more children if their careers suffer from glass ceilings, unspoken prejudice (because she is of child bearing age and will be absent from work for x period of time) and all the other factors thrown into the employment mix that negate employing a person on their ability alone?
      As women are encouraged to work for the GDP growth of today – is it at the expense of the demographics of tomorrow?
      If so – what policies can be put in place to give women an incentive to both work and have a career whilst also to produce more children?
      None of this is easily solved – if it were, then the solutions would be identified and effective policies rather than rhetoric would be in place in every nation with a shrinking domestic demographic.
      However the governments of the day have to pay the bills of the day

  7. Stanislav Stilianov

    As a liberal and democrat, I have strongly positive attitude about migration within European Union and from third countries into the EU. On the other hand, I think that people who want to live abroad have to be ready to study the local language, way of live… To become part of the society, every person have to do the best of him or her in order not to be in burden. Unfortunately, many people go to live abroad only because to get the local benefits.

  8. Vasilis KILIARIS

    Save the Children!

    The question shouldn’t be more or less immigration. It should be more or less births.
    To achieve a higher birthrate, at least two policies should be prioritized on a pan-European level:

    1) Implementing the Promotion Pact – First Youth Employment Guarantee (European Youth Guarantee – http://www.youth-guarantee.eu), to combat unemployment, especially among young people. Youth with jobs, could create their own family nests in a sensible age period of their lives.
    2) Implementing a policy favouring population replacement of the states (2.1 children per woman in fertile childbearing age), to address the current and future socio-economic crisis. The policy should benefit with tax-cuts and flexible working hours mothers and fathers holding legal citizenship of a country.

    These two policies could be the a positive-thinking way out of the crisis, instead of enhancing employment from the Least Developed Countries in the world, in a contemporary sense of slavery. The future are the children, the future citizens that are going to pay their taxes and social insurances for the elderly. When they grow up, they are going to be the shield of the welfare state, such as the european economic model. This could only be achieved if they work in a healthy and competitive economy, with high productivity, high social cohesion, in the framework of sustainable development! Less developed countries in the world shouldn’t have only one option of success and hapiness, through immigration to Europe. They should have more options in labour, via working-policies towards a socio-economically advancement of their countries as well!

    Save the children in Europe as well, by giving them a chance to get born in a peaceful and sustainable developing Europe.
    Save the children in the world, by giving them the chance to get born in their ancestral home, where sustainable growth and economic development is possible.

  9. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Albert Saxén says it all: only the big corporations are interested in immigration, so they can have cheap labour, some times illegal or competing with the nationals for the few jobs. It is no wonder Mr Albert do not show his face. He is the type of person who do not care if his compatriots are unemployed, having hunger, get displaced of their houses and putting their families living on hand outs. This type of people have no mercy, are extremely selfish, only thinking in their profit, not paying taxes because they put their companies head offices in offshores. They are parasites of the society like vampires. They only are forgetting one thing. When too much people get unemployed, they start looking the immigrants like enemies, the extreme right will grow as well as the xenophobia and a new Hitler will appear. This guys are so stupid than cannot learn with the History.

    • Dionator

      I think you’re using too many scare tactics here. Do you have any evidence that the problem will escalate to such a dramatic level if “immigration” laws were to be reformed? It’s curious that we’re already attacking a simple concept for which we have no information about its implementation.
      Not giving the debate the benefit of the doubt and hearing how it will be implemented is not the best way to look at the issue. I don’t think Brussels will be stupid enough to simply open the borders and say “Come ye all citizens of the world”. It could potentially alleviate the strain that demographic shifts will have in countries such as Germany. The fact that life expectancy has increased implies that we’re more bound to have older people around for longer and we need to take care of them and if there’s an imbalance in the ration of retired citizens and working citizens the problem will simply be aggravated. It is natural to assume that most such immigrants will either be those who take jobs for which EU citizens are not interested on people who are qualified in jobs for which the EU faces a shortage like it was recently reported to be in the fields of IT and Nursing. Also remember that there’s a growing number of EU citizens themselves looking for opportunity elsewhere. There are already more than 300 000 portuguese nationals in Africa, most of them in Angola. We live at time when isolation only leads to implosion if not adjusted to global trends. This is, after all, a globalised world.

  10. Jude De Froissard

    we don’t need immigration from outside europe… we are enough europeans…and so many are jobless.we need to form a union with harmonious citizens who have at least a common culture and a common past …otherwise we will pay it very dearly in the future.

  11. Marcel

    I strongly hope that those who call for ‘more immigration’ realize that ‘perpetual population growth’ is not exactly the brightest idea in the world.

    The reason why the powers that be that are calling for ‘more immigration’ is that they realize that the whole financial-economic system of the western world was based, amongst other things, on the assumption of ‘perpetual population growth’. In fact, our current system requires ‘perpetual population growth’.

    After all, when you have infrastructure, a knowledge base and a judicial system in place then the #1 driver of economic growth is population growth. This is why I keep repeating that perpetual economic growth is not possible.

    Those hoping for significant economic growth in the western world are either ignorant of this or simply deluding themselves. Our system isn’t sustainable. And apart from needing perpetual population growth, our system requires perpetually expanding debt mountains, perpetual economic growth and unlimited availability of natural resources.

    None of these are possible, and therefore our system isn’t sustainable. This is the painful lesson the western world is about to learn.

    Then of course there are also those who hope to dilute national identity by encouraging mass immigration. And assume the immigrants will then all be thankful and show loyalty to those who allowed them in, in this case the Eurosoviet in Brussels. Call me paranoid, but I strongly believe this is one of the ideas behind calls for ‘more immigration’.

    Did anyone notice that some sections of these immigrants are actually hostile to our values such as equality for women or gay rights?

    And finally there is the moral hazard. Why take the best and brightest out of countries that already have so few of them? How will those countries develop if we keep braindraining them?

  12. Christos Mouzeviris

    Perhaps we could target the kind of immigrants we want to attract in Europe… Educated, skilled.. Or perhaps not…. From countries with “European” culture or close to it… Or perhaps not…. We should use immigration to close gaps in our working force…. And preferably I would try to attract people from Latin America the most, since they have a culture closer to ours, so it is much easier to integrate…

  13. Nikolai Holmov

    To be perfectly frank, the current situation has been forecast for at least 40 years in academic circles and there are vast tomes written on this subject in the public realm and behind academic pay walls.
    However, in that time I cannot remember a serious political conversation with voters about how to tackle it or any effort to manage voter expectations. Naturally to expect an on-going conversation would have been too much.
    Even now, there is still no serious conversation between government and voter about how to deal with this issue and the costs (be they financial or readjusting expectations). There is a lot of hyperbole sporadically, but no serious conversation.
    When did you last see “demographics” as a party conference headline discussion? Immigration – yes. Welfare – yes. But demographics and the effects of demographics, which ultimately effects both immigration, employment and welfare amongst a great many other issues – I have never seen it at any party conference of any party?
    It is as though demographics needs to be broken down into little bits that shouldn’t be tied together because the public are deemed too stupid to understand the whole concept under on overarching principle. – Piffle!
    What is the point of discussing specific effects when a major cause of those effects isn’t spoken about with the electorate concerning the short, medium and long term?
    Demographics after all, have political consequences – some more immediate than others. How many Hispanics vote Republican and what is the fastest growing demographic group in the USA for example?
    That in turn sets the political course and the ideology and policies associated with it.
    Similarly enlarging the EU and increasing its demographics by expansion rather than birth rate has political consequences even within the European Parliament let alone the EU. There is after all a limit to the number of MEPs. So when a nation joins, existing nations lose MEPs to make way for those of nation X. Thus you could argue that even MEPs can lose their jobs when the (ex)-foreigners are allowed in.
    However, the question is really how to deal with it, and there seems to be only two schools of thought (for now at least), and you are left with the economic equivalent of Hyatt v Keynes – both of which may ultimately work – but both of which have consequences!

    • Bastian

      You probably mean Hayek versus Keyns, don#t you?

    • Nikolai Holmov

      Indeed – the Austrian School of thinking. However the point is made regardless

  14. Zoe

    More immigration, if we presume, that the same will increase the birth rate, will only help after 20 to 30 years, once the newly born enter the labor market. Increased, or somehow even forced calling for more immigration within the EU only causes increased level of xenophobia as people are not accustomed to sharing their space, very valuable preciousness and their Alfa attitude throughout the whole system with so many people who they call “the others”. The best example can be seen if we take a look at those immigrants that came 60 years ago and moved from allover the world in some or more of the western European countries. They are now, more or less accepted and as much as I hate using the word integrated, they are part of societies and they even have the voice risen in favor or against immigration. But the new waves of immigrants coming from eastern Europe are not welcomed, even though they are the Europeanness that the machine requires. They are black-painted as the poor immigrants, and none of the politicians nor the machine itself has recognized that they are not the poor but the rich future of those eastern European countries, but have been thrown in the abyss of poverty. It is like the whole debate on the ‘bring the smart guys here’ has been interchanged with ‘push the poor people out of here’.

    • Bastian

      “But the new waves of immigrants coming from eastern Europe are not welcomed, even though they are the Europeanness that the machine requires.”

      This is not my experience. Where I live (Germany/Austria) there are many immigrants from CEE, and I notice no antagonism towards them. Dislike exists rather towards immigrants with non-European background.
      Generally speaking, todays EU- Europe is not threatened by xenophobia but xenophilia imposed by the establishment. And this makes the situation worse, because people tend to resist doctrines coming from above.

    • Marcel

      There is plenty of antagonism against Poles and other eastern Europeans here in the Netherlands as increasingly people see they are willing to work for far less money than what was considered a normal income here. They cause a decrease in wages and increasing unemployment for our nationals, so resentment is only to be expected.

      We are being impoverished so greedy corporations can cut costs. Same thing happening with politicians and bankers conspiring to impoverish millions through their monetary project (the Euro).

    • Bastian

      Absolutely, but this is a bit different thought. In your case Eastern Europeans are used to undercut wages, they work for less. To create such antagonism you don’t need freigners. In Austria, for example, similar antagonism is produced by the media between ordinary employees and civil servants. It is claimed that civil servants have priviliged pension system.

  15. Indra

    Most of the government system of devloped countries are getting weaker and weaker day by day specially on sectors like population mgmt , employment and ecinomic crices . Leaders are sleeping putting their hands under their ears beside finding some better solution for coming problems. Every child will carry problems before reaching to their final destination so why to increase population if you are unable to feed those who are already with you…… Migration is adding fule to unemployment and social crimes …..!

  16. Bastian

    @ N. Homolov
    Agree with most of what you said.
    If the EU establishment would put as much energy as it puts into “gender quotas” into appreciating mothers, the perceived demographic problem would be much less severe.

    @ Dionatur
    The growing part of older generations in our societies is seen too much under labour market perspectives only, we need systemic and comparative thinking.
    Look, for example, at Japan, it has the oldest population and is still not indulging in such hysteria as in the EU.

    Hence the impression that behind the demographic agitation in the EU is actually a different agenda, namely making mass immigration acceptable to the public.

    • Dionator

      While I do agree that Japan does better with its current demographics than EU countries such as Germany, Austria and others, it is not a fair comparison.
      Among other reasons is the fact that demographics shifts take much longer to have an effect on society so it’s early to decide whether or not Japan’s demographics redress policies will be successful. There are currently many factors that make it hard to determine whether Japans dwindling economic strength is due to China’s ascendance or due to its demographic changes.
      But one thing we can be certain is that it doesn’t have a sustainable policy to redress the situation. The UN Population sector had a report that stated that Japan would need either to raise the retirement age to 77 or receive a million migrant workers from 2000 until 2050 in order to maintain its worker-to-retiree ratio on a stable level. The exactitude of that statement could be a question of debate, but even if we account for errors in calculation it gives us enough details to know that things are not going in the right direction.
      To address the role of women and creating a work environment sensitive to family issues would certainly be a PART of the solution, but time and the number of the availability of such women is not on our sides. To remedy the situation we should either make significant progress in robotics or simply, at least, consider other ways to ease the problems. It is unfortunate that this debate coincides a time of high unemployment rates across the EU, but the debate must be had and I hope there’ll be more realistic and comments and not just stuff that makes us think we are right. We need to face facts.

  17. catherine benning

    The heading to this thread is a misrepresentation. Meant to eliminate the real issue it poses. For, immigration comes in all forms, doesn’t it?

    A more honest question whould be, are we willing, as a united European people, to accept the possible elimination of our social expectation and culture in order to allow an increase in our population from outside our borders? This is suggested as a need in order to promote the concept of low pay and produce more taxable incomes? As we are an aging population who will need a bigger social fund to care for ourselves in old age, our present level of human workforce is inadequate for that purpose, therefore, what to do? Would the changes we can envisage from this acceptance of millions of people entering our society be something we could cope with and want to live with?

    So now we have the real question, lets look at the reasons we are here in this position.

    We were adivsed by politicians that the exploding population of our countries was too high to be sustainable and that as a result we should reduce our breeding levels to no more than two children per family. Similar to the policy they have in China. And, strangely, as our standard of living increased thirty or forty years ago, our families got smaller. This then brought us too few to pay the tax bill to keep those at the top happy. Wage levels increased, which removed some of the profits of the employers and the state, with not enough hands to do the job. Our efficiency levels lowered.

    The result was, those at the top didn’t like the stagnant level of ‘their’ income whilst the lower paid were seeing an increase in their standards. This got in the craw of some Capitalists and they began to balk. Open the gates to immigration, was the call, that will give us access to low paid individuals who will do the work the others don’t want to do and we can, once again, enjoy a higher standard of living ourselves. There has to be a pecking order and those at the bottom are getting way above their station.

    And it worked. The immigration levels held down wages and put theose on top back into what they saw as their rightful position. However greed set in. Outsourcing became fashionable, which brought about middle class job losses. IT jobs in the millions outsourced in India and so on. This in turn lifted the level of income for those on the top dramatically and quickly. They wanted more, so the flood gates were opened for mass immigration.

    In all their greed and the idea of wonderful Cayman Island off shore business took hold. Wow, we cannot live without our private planes, big yachts and Ferraris. And more breeds a desire for more. As enough is never enough.

    The result was more of the economic pie taken from those on the bottom. Lower salaries, less housing room, education all but eliminated in some countries, as in the UK, and a crubling health service. . The weight of the requirements to live on mass immigration was so heavy it could not be supported, for those at the top were paying less and less in taxes.

    However, what alos happened along with this tragedy was, the immirant population wanted to change the host society into something that was more acceptable to their way of life and expectations. And so their cultures began to swamo and overtake the ways and lifestyle expectancy of the indigenous. Until in many parts of the countries that make up EU are no longer recognisable as the country once enjoyed by tose who created it saw their lifestyle become close to that of the poverty stricken imported.

    So, the question to be answered is, do we want more of the same? Are we happy wit these changes? Do we want to raise our children in the environment of a third workd existence?

    and as a little reminder of what that existance is, here in a central London shopping street as it is now, on any regular day.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS42qBlKjIM

    And how the changes others want to our society and their expectation of those changes to be made possible by their grwoing majority.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oZQFoUG77E

    And last but not least, how the future will change our culture and society should we be willing to allow our politicians to carry on with their policy of open doors.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=Nlb1UUxJmp0&feature=endscreen

    .

    • Jeanne Griffin

      very well put. This is precisely the reason the head buck cats want mass immigration from third world nations. As the indigenous youth searches aimlessly for jobs that have already been filled by migrants who work at a decreased wage and with no safety measures, he or she will continue to live at home unable to start a family with the end result; emigration. This will go on until Europeans become minorities in their own lands.

  18. Bastian

    Catherine,
    I always appreciate the enlightening links you poste.
    The discussion on Chanel 4 is really unmasking the pseudo democracy we are living in. The opinions of the majority don’t really matter. Under current circumstances media are only interested in profits.

  19. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Immigration is already feeding the extreme right movements. The victims were the Jews in the past, the Muslims will be the ones in the future. With a further reason, Muslims do not integrate at all and Jews were very integrated. Politicians are really silly allowing uncontrolled immigration. Societies are generally tolerant if the immigrants do not overpass 5% of the population, after that mark the societies start growing anti-corps.

  20. catherine benning

    @Bastian:

    You are very kind, thank you. I, likewise, find your views an exceptional contribution.

  21. Crysis

    All european countries bring too much immigrants in our continent, the result is – clash of cultures, degradation, high rate unenployment. But wait … 95 billion+euro, profit for the big European Companies. All of that – thanks to the immigrants – low salaries.

    Local european population is being annihilated, the islamic population in Europe is increasing with vast numbers. Africans, Gypsies – all of them with Insane High Birth Rate. And as a bonus – most of them don`t work – social help.

    Any one with 1`st grade aducation can predict the futue of Europe.

  22. Limbidis Adrian

    The more important question to ask is, how come:
    1) there are no jobs for the diminishing population of Europe
    2) What can we do to RAISE birth rates of our own people not import others.
    Some immigrants do not adapt, or create enclaves and on the other side of the fence some natives don’t see too kindly to new people.

    Immigration should be only from and to within EU space – at least until we get our house in order.
    The middle-east or whatever else place can take care of their own problems.
    Otherwise we’re just giving right-wing nut jobs more ammo to throw at the EU.

  23. BG

    Most comments on the page are not based on reality, some are even outright racist…. There is no doubt that EU needs immigrants just like the US, but because of acute rascism it can’t clean up its image… Europe is not more a heaven for many countries now, and many countries in Asia are more educated and advanced than those racists in Europe. Even in times of crisis EU must open Eyes (and doors) because now it needs non-EU-others most than vice-versa!

    • Emma

      How many lines did you write there? And I count 3 racist, you better go elsewhere with the lack of arguments and facts hiding under the “all Europeans are racists“. Guess what? You and people like you have used the word “racist“ so much that nobody cares anymore, it doesn´t mean anything.

      If immigrants are so important for the economy, how come the USA is doing so well (I was being very sarcastic in case you didn´t get that one? And how come Japan (I never heard anyone call them racists) are one of the largest economies in the world, are they famous for their relaxed immigration laws? And South Korea? What about them? How come they could go from one of the poorest countriues in the world to one of the richest? South Korea is nationalistic, so it is not beacuse of immigration.

      Maybe Europe needs immigration, we will be very happy to grant asylum to the highly educated US citizens when the american economy collapses.

      I wonder wich of the comments here are based on reality, i can assure you it is not yours.

  24. Fanathic

    I fully agree with the ideea of inter-EU immigration, simply because the European nations share similar cultures and habits. I hate to appear racist or xenophobic, for I am not, and I do believe each and everyone appreciates diversity, yet the dominant majority tends to overpower those who do not follow a general standard. This situation could worsen in the eventuality of a minority openly resisting the majority. There is an old latin saying : ” homo homini lupus est ” (translated as “man is a wolf to [his fellow] man”). A wolf pack will not naturaly share its territory with another one without the two clashing.
    Moreover, the current immigration that Western Europe faces creates a situation where the natives must co-exist with a new branch of the society, which seems to be thriving. While this relatively new branch is now silent and concerned about gaining the material means of existance, soon it will gain a powerful voice, that, as history had shown us on many occasions, tends to be asking for better and better for itself, therefore widening the already steep gap between the two groups of the discussion.
    It’s Europe’s call. Will Europe be conservative of its fundamental culture and try to at least control the number and the quality of future incoming immigrants, or will it allow this process to continue in its curent direction?

  25. henderson

    Europe definitely can not allow any more non-EU immigrants in this devastating period of unemployment and negative growth and progress. Also due to large scale illegal immigration in the past there has been rising social imbalances faced by the genuine european residents in their respective countries in EU. Rather than importing skilled workers from abroad,giving proper training people at home will be the right fix for problems long term for europe.

  26. Miriam

    They waged war on us and with us for over two centuries, replaced us with immigrants to keep their profits high and now blame us for giving up and not having large numbers of children. We, descendants of those who fought for our countries in all the wars, were laughed at as we grew up for being poor and comparatively ill- educated. How exactly we are supposed to have more children when we have less education and money than the incoming migrants, thus we get displaced with housing, is not explained.

  27. Gary

    The main problem of EU is the eastern countries they wasn’t ready to join EU this why we have all the problems we have here in UK .the EU immigrant bring misery and problems in Britain not the immigrant from outside of EU because the immigrants from outside of EU those immigrated in UK they’re well qualify different like the EU immigrant they coming without speaking english and any qualification they come just to lower our wages here

  28. Robert S

    Well, this problem is indeed complex. The demographics of countries such as Bulgaria, Latvia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Italy and Germany are beyond catastrophic. With an average of 1.4 kids per woman and 15 years of complete demographic bust after 1990, Latvia and Bulgaria are set to have birthrates less than half their death rates, and to have an average age of above 50 in 20 years.
    That said, the issue of immigration is tricky, mainly because no European country has truly gotten it right. Europe attracts refugees and unskilled labour, but has failed to attract skilled immigrants in the same way as Canada does. Furthermore, Europe seems to attract immigrants from countries that are less culturally compatible with what current European social systems mean than most of the anglo-saxon countries, making integration a significant issues as well.

  29. Emma

    I am living in Scandinavia and have heard all of these things a million times before. We need workers bla bla…
    Do we really need unskilled workers from North Africa and Arab countries? They have proven to be totally unfit in the western society. And do I belive it is a good thing that Somalians who live on social benefit is having 6 children each? No, when they day (if the day comes) when we need workers we will get workers elsewhere, maybe Thailand or some other East Asian country. And what about the robots? When we developed advanced robot technology we do not need unskilled workers at all. And what good is the immigration then?

    Liberals want free immigration and left marxist aswell. The left want new “underclass“ people so that they can go even further left and hopefully turn Scandinavia into a communist society. If the country do not have enough poor people nobody needs a socialistic revolution. And the liberals are forgetting that we have democracy wich means that the lower paid and the poor people always can vote for “others money“. Muslims can form religious parties (wich they are doing) if we live under Sharia laws where is our freedom then?

    I used to be liberal too, I used to think it was ok with immigration as long as people made the best out of their situation. Well, seeing what happened to Sweden over the last couple of years have made me completely change my mind. I hope that EU will stop north african and arab immigrants (unless they are Harvard educated or have crazy amounts of money they would just love spend, or as tourists) from coming to Europe in the future.

  30. Al

    Europe is one of the biggest and most densely populated regions of the world. A low birthrate, would ease that overtime, provided there was not mass immigration from outside of Europe, which there is. A low birthrate is a good thing, in many ways. Economically, in some ways, not ideal. Something had to give, theoretically the easiest option was to get in large numbers of immigrants. But this has caused far more problems than it was supposed to solve. The problems are only growing. European people therefore, will need to compromise in some other way. By far the most obvious is people will have to work longer, after all, if they are heathier longer, this was by far the most obvious solution. If put to the people; mass immigration or retire later, I bet most would opt for the latter, well maybe not the Greeks lol.

    I was also thinking of the gradual fazing out of state pension, but why should this be so; every worker pays in, that money should be held in the name of that individual, government should not be allowed to use that money for anything other than pensions. The truth is they spend the peoples money, and then complain when they can’t afford to provide.

    To summarise; increase retirement age and keep the pension money separate from other government spending. Stop mass immigration! Ideally stop it altogether for a decade or so.

  31. Pat

    It’s the same situation in Canada. Yes, fairly high unemployment (the media does not admit it), especially for 35-and-under year old people, BUT also the whole LIE regarding birth rate/immigration. The lower birth rate is reflecting the lack of job opportunities and the corruption and greed that is happening. The govts are in denial of this reality. It’s true that there are the people who are “selfish” and do not want marriage or children, but this is not the largest number. It’s also the LIE that because birth rates are low, that immigration is a must. This is a cheap excuse just for mass immigration. What about the JOB GROWTH RATE and opportunities?! Look at this first. The real citizens of the country are not being employed. This is abuse. Imagine if there are no jobs yet the real citizens have a very high birthrate? This would be a problem. Now imagine if there are no jobs, yet there is immigration??? Even worse! If there are no jobs, then why have a high birthrate? Especially immigration! It’s stupid and further clogging the sink pipes and the system. Everyone – the people, govt and business, must all deal fairly and practically with this, and work with what is already there. Big population does not mean it’s a good thing. Quality is important. If a country is expected to shrink in population in the future, then everyone must work with that number. Make complete use of the talent and resources in the country, no matter if the population will shrink. At the same time, continue promoting having families/children. There really is no need for immigration or mass immigration.
    The system is wrong and outdated. Societies evolve, and so must the economic system, because western countries are no longer agricultural, we are no longer industrial due to outsourcing and GREED. Greed is the key word and reason, because the many say that the govts are in bed with corporations and just want more consumption, more CHEAP LABOUR from third world people – low wages and no pensions/benefits. A huge LIE, and very outdated. In western countries such as Canada, we had less people before, but there was more progress, more things to show from our taxes, more resources to go around, and more jobs. Now, after having 25 years or so of mass immigration and not stopping, mainly from the third world, we have crumbling outdated cities (see Toronto), less funds for education, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. And it’s clear that the third-world immigrants since the late 1980s to present, are so inferior compared to the third-world immigrants to Canada from post-World War II to around the early 1980s. It’s also a fact that the immigration numbers in the past, were much lower than the current number of immigrants to Canada. A huge crime in Canada was that when the immigration rate was dramatically increased in the 1980s, the immigration process time was reduced from 5 years to only 3 years. This is greed. The immigration rate has been almost 300,000 per year since then, and mainly from third world countries such as muslim-faith places and India, China, and very poor unlearned societies. This is lowering Canada’s level, standard, society and competitiveness.
    Here is the point that sums it up and ends the entire arguing: You cannot ever maintain or progress a developed world society, with third world. Especially with mass immigration. It’s not going to happen. That is why it’s no longer “mass immigration” but simply the transferring of people. It’s clear that this DISEASE and lie is affecting and targeting western developed countries (first-world) and their societies. The “old” naturally homogenous countries of Europe have it worse because they are countries of origin where people and culture came from.
    Finally, political correctness and “diversity” and “multiculturalism” is a lie because it doesn’t work, old or new countries. No. Also, why is it that it has to be western European descent countries and societies that “must be diverse”, but never Asian countries and everywhere else? This is stupid, a big crime, and also racism. It is also bad for tourism. The whole immigration factor is a lie.

    • Pat

      Another important fact is the huge differences comparing first-world people and third-world people. First-world societies actually plan more and plan their futures and families whether in good or bad economy. However, third-world people have uncontrolled reproduction and do not plan their amount of children, but instead act like machines or animals. This is a factor even more with the lower-level populations of third-world countries.
      That is why first-world countries cannot possibly allow third-world immigration these days. It’s suicide.
      One more thing, Canada has such a high immigration rate per year, but Canada also is suffering from a disease called the “Temporary Foreign Worker”, which is another 200,000 + per year. These “TFWs” are taking a lot of our jobs, which puts Canadians, especially younger Canadians, out of work and face a challenge in finding work. Many companies and industries in Canada are so greedy and want cheap labour now with this TFW method. It’s also a fact that most of the newer immigrants and TFWs also do not spend or put their money into Canada, but send the money to their own countries. So Canada loses.
      Mass immigration and TFWs, even the generous refugee program, is pushing Canada down – economically, standards and quality of living.

  32. Pat

    Also very important to mention: it’s a fact that the people who are mainly looking to immigrate to first-world countries, are DESPERATE. The established people and societies do not need to migrate as much as in the past, but the third world has seen uncontrolled population growth after 1960. And the fact is that it has been the lower level people of the third world who have had so much population growth. no control. This is clear proof about the difference(s) between first-world societies and third-world societies……Good or bad economy, first-world people are more responsible and plan their futures and size of families or decision to have children. But with third-world people, no matter what, they just keep having more and more babies like they are animals in the forest. No care about the world and no thinking. So these people are left behind because the rest of the world have progressed. Allowing third-world people to immigrate to first-world countries during these modern times, is stupid and scary.

  33. Al

    Another significant issue with immigration from outside of the “west” is religion. Although we too have religion in the west (Christianity), western people have significantly moved beyond religion, mainly for Science and reason. Many westerners are still Christians but the intensity and influence Christianity has on society and democracy is marginal. Christianity for most is more a cultural identification, i.e Christmas, Easter etc. People from the developing world (especially Islamic world) are far more deeply associated and identified with religion. Religion for them has a far greater political and social influence; the great the number of these people in the western world, the greater the tension. Westerners feel they are being dragged back to the dark ages with greater numbers of intensely religious people, especially those of Islamic faith. Westerns have been very tolerant however, for many the line has been crossed in how much they can tolerate; continue to increase that population and tensions will continue to grow to levels that become significantly problematic for both parties, and society as a whole.

    Why do government’s go against the current majority’s opinion on mass immigration from the developing world?

    One major reason is population numbers; the greater your population, the greater the overall GDP, the greater your global political influence. This however takes no consideration of quality of life per capita or GDP per capita. It is very possible to have a country with a small population but a high standard of living with a good GDP per capita. Being a small population you wouldn’t have so much global political influence but so what. Usually meddling in other countries affairs causes more problems than it intended to solve.

  34. smartness

    Our leaders are making it harder for indigenous Europeans to have kids and then they suggest that the indigenous population be replaced by foreigners!? Isn’t this another non obvious way of committing genocide on the European people?

    Other countries actually support the people who elected them:

    In Russia women are offered a bonus of 250,000 rubles (about $9,200) to women who would have a second child.

    In Singapore cash bonuses are provided for parents of newborn babies and paternity leave has been introduced to increase the number of births.

    What has the Eurozone done to provide incentives for higher births? Nothing.

    • Jeanne Griffin

      that is the point!!! They want the indigenous European working classes to be eradicated and replaced with largely uneducated people from undeveloped nations who will work like oxen for low salaries while those elite few at the top will benefit from a system similar to that of South America. We can observe that in places like the UK, national unity has undergone such a disintegration that British soldiers can no longer walk their native streets without risking a decapitation by second-generation Nigerian immigrants. Such a thing was unthinkable thirty years ago. Even small, agrarian nations like Ireland have undergone a drastic change in which the Irish now only form 84% of the overall population. The pressure these new migrants are placing on the existing infrastructure that necessitates the building of housing estates and schools poses a grave risk to the pasture needed for an economy which largely depends on agriculture.

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