sarkozyLast week, five people were found dead in a ramshackle and overcrowded boat drifting off the Southern-most tip of Italy. The boat had been carrying 60 illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa to the tiny island of Lampedusa, a common entry-point into the European Union. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), about 60,000 people risked their lives to make the crossing to Italy in 2011. Some of them are fleeing conflicts that erupted in the wake of the Arab Spring. Others are “economic migrants”, looking for jobs and a better life in Europe.

As the issue of immigration steadily makes its way up the European political agenda, mainstream politicians have increasingly been seen employing anti-immigration rhetoric in order to see-off the challenge of far-right parties in the polls. In a move that many commenters feel was an attempt to prevent the far-right National Front from attracting voters away from his party, French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently intensified his rhetoric against illegal immigration, saying there are “too many foreigners in France”. In another speech, he criticised the EU, arguing that (if re-elected) he would “not allow the management of immigration flows to be in the hands of technocrats and the courts”. He has repeatedly called for tougher border-controls in Europe, even threatening to pull France out of the Schengen agreement if this is not achieved.

Yesterday, we spoke to Carlos Coelho, a Portuguese Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Social Democratic Party (which is, despite the name, part of the centre-right European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, and thus an ally of Nicolas Sarkozy’s party). One of our readers, Christos, sent in a comment that was highly critical of the current approach:

We saw with the immigration problem, after the Arab revolution hit North Africa and thousands were loading themselves on a boat to enter the EU through Spain, Italy, Malta or even Greece, the Northern states ‘ducked’ once again and said that responsibility lay with the states where immigrants were entering into the EU.

But the immigrants do not want to stay in the poor South, they want to move on to the rich North… So why don’t the rich nations of Europe act as one with the states that are on the borders of the continent and assist them? Instead they decided to choose the easy option and suspend the Schengen agreement, like France and Denmark! If they had any problems with how Italy, Malta and Greece handled the situation, then why didn’t all our governments take action together?

 How would you answer Christos?

My answer is that we are already in the process of trying to build up a European immigration policy with a solidarity clause. Christos is right to call for more solidarity in the EU in order to tackle these issues. But all the member-states, including member-states in the South, should make clear there is a difference between asylum and immigration. We are not obliged to accept everybody immigrating in order to look for a job. This is clearly what Italy wasn’t doing.

We also had a comment from Marcel arguing that: “If my country, the Netherlands, does not want to admit Romanians or Bulgarians because unemployment here is going up, then we have the right to.” He also argues that “elitist” politicians are out of touch with popular opinion on immigration. There is a furious debate taking place right now in the Netherlands over immigration, with far-right politician Geert Wilders causing controversy by setting up a website asking people to submit complaints against Eastern Europeans. Could you respond to this, perhaps?

That site is unbelievable. It’s spreading hate. It’s not the kind of attitude we expect from civilised people. What we are seeing is something that’s very worrying; the rise of the extreme right is something we have to fight against. One of the core values of the EU is the idea of “European citizenship”. Nobody can be descriminated against as a European citizen, and people in the Netherlands and elsewhere also don’t want their citizens to be dealt with in another way in other European countries. All citizens in Europe have the same rights. It’s something we have to always have in mind.

Of course, it’s clear to me there are worries among people about immigration. There is an economic crisis, and of course there is unemployment. But we aren’t going to solve our economic problems or lower unemployment if we fight against one another. To be able to create jobs and tackle the crisis, we need to be united.

What about the accusation that politicians are “elitist”, too politically-correct and too out-of-touch with people’s concerns on immigration? When politicians adopt anti-immigration rhetoric, are they not responding to people’s legitimate concerns? Or should we be worried by this trend?

I’m worried about it. It’s giving legitimacy to some terrible views. The extreme right is trying to fight for values that are completely alien to what we call “European values”: i.e. the dignity of all human beings in the face of the law; no discrimination on the basis of racial, sexual and other differences, etc. We have to fight for these European values.

What do YOU think? Should we be worried by politicians adopting anti-immigration rhetoric? Is this just a cynical election ploy, or is the political mood in Europe shifting against immigration? And are politicians elitist and “out-of-touch” on this issue, or are they trying to balance feelings of social disruption with other issues (such as keeping an open economy and promoting trade and movement of labour)? Let us know your thoughts in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers to respond.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – JaxPix

35 comments Post a commentcomment

    • avatar
      Rowda Abubaker

      people have a freedom to move where ever they want for their safety why are you suggesting that north africans and asians shouldnt move?

  1. avatar
    Debating Europe

    We realise this is a controversial subject, but we trust our readers to approach it in a mature and respectful manner. We encourage serious debate on these issues, but please note that will not tolerate either racism or personal attacks in our comments.

  2. avatar
    Khatira M. Paywand

    We cant really avoid Immigration… Europes geographical, social and economical Position is attractive not only for People in South but also East… so there have to be long term Solutions regarding the Fact that our Earth Population is growing faster than ever before… The Union has to be more engaged to keep People happy and save where they are and at the same Time encourage Companies and NGOs to invest in those Regions, such as with Solarenergie in Africa etc to create steady Jobs and Profits on both Sides!

    • avatar

      Of course you can avoid immigration. You need to have policies which limit it severely. The little immigration that should occur should only be that the helps Europe. Immigration policy should be shaped to benefit Europeans themselves, not to benefit foreign countries. Any country with common sense would do the same.

  3. avatar
    Sioraf As Na Cillini

    Given the recession I’d imagine Europe is shifting against immigration, the argument being “We don’t have enough jobs for ourselves let alone foreigners” but this is in fact a self-defeating argument. Employers don’t hire based on how many people want a job with them ,they hire based on how much the person is willing to work for and since immigrants tend to come from poorer countries they are willing to work for less because it’s still more than they would make back home. Immigrants don’t take jobs, employers keep jobs. Income tax is paid to the country a person lives in, not comes from so yes we should be worried by politicians adopting anti-immigration rhetoric because less immigration, less jobs that can be taxed. The trend in First World countries is to have small families and so First World populations are small and ageing because people don’t die as young there. This has become a ticking time bomb in Japan where they face the choice of increasing immigration in a country where only 1% of the population is foreign or lowering how much it spends on pensions which will be widely opposed given the fact that Asian countries treat their old people better than western countries do. Other First World countries will face the same choice without immigration or higher birth rates and so yes we should be very, very worried.

  4. avatar
    Nikolai Holmov

    There are several issues here some of which are seemingly polar opposites but true nonetheless.

    Firstly, immigration and asylum are two very different things and really should not be spoken about in the same context or sentence despite the fact they often are.

    Asylum is granted by courts along existing guidelines on a case by case basis. Mass immigration (or not) is a political policy.

    Secondly, despite the current economic situation, far right rhetoric and voter far right sympathies have always existed. Therefore whilst the poor economic situation may well conveniently highlight immigration amongst the voting public and political classes, economics cannot be seem as the driving anti-immigration factor amongst the public. If that were true, in very good economic times the issue would disappear but it doesn’t.

    If we take a less passionate view and look at why far right rhetoric still continues to strike a chord with voters even in good economic climates, the answer seems to be with culture and not jobs or wealth, particularly amongst the middle classes.

    The middle classes are important in any democracy as they are the oil on the water between the haves and have nots in society. We can argue, quite justifiably that when the middle classes start to fear for their jobs in difficult economic times that there will be an undoubted acceptance of far right rhetoric more easily, however that far right inclination amongst them still exists when cricket on the village green, church on Sunday and all other conservative national norms are threatened by an alien culture in large numbers.

    My argument would be that the far right gains most of its sympathies amongst the voting public not through economic issues but what is perceived (and possibly is) an attack on national culture, (deliberate or via erosion), from those cultures who immigrate in large numbers regardless of their cultural origin.

    It comes down to identity being threatened in the hosting nation rather than the economics of a hosting nation. What makes the Brits “British”, the French “French” and the Greeks “Greek” and threats to that is fertile ground for the far right.

    The next issue is that in a democracy, the far right has as much right to make its case as any other legal organisation. I make the point of stressing legal as there are the legal far right political parties in many nations who abide by the legislation and there are far right entities which operate outside the laws of their nations.

    If a legal far right party manages to get members elected and are thus, via democracy, representative of enough people to do so, they have every right to raise the issues of those they represent even if the far more central MPs and constituents disagree (or even find what is said “shocking”).

    To paraphrase the ECfHR on the issue “as a matter of principle it may be considered necessary in certain democratic societies to sanction or even prevent all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance, verses the right of individuals (including journalists and politicians) to express their views freely and to offend, shock or disturb others.” They state “maybe” and thus there is no hard and fast rule about what is and is not acceptable.

    The problem as far as the politics go, is not that the far right exist but that the more centre political parties will not engage head to head with the far right and debunk most of the rhetoric it uses to garner support. Instead, as with the case of Sarkozy, the centre edges further and further right nibbling away and incorporating the easiest bits of the far right rhetoric whilst never addressing the far right directly.

    There will always be far right rhetoric and this will increase as the EU realises that economic problems within the Eurozone cannot be corrected without political integration and further parts of national sovereignty surrendered to a central overseeing power.

    Food and drink for the far right naturally and an almost impossible sell to the EU citizens who identify with their sovereign nations and not the EU when it comes to who they are.

    Should our politicians court the anti-immigration vote? That depends on who they want to represent in their society (and whether they believe they can sell an EU identity over and above their own national identity to their people whilst also stating that national cultural identity will not suffer.)

    There are numerous nuances to the technicalities of immigration (within and without of the EU) to consider also, such as a shrinking and aging European population, social securities that will get more expensive as a result with less youth to carry the financial burden, and whether immigration is indeed the solution or whether a large part of any finances generated by immigration is simply sucked out of a national system and sent back to relatives in another nation,

    All very complex and worthy of far more study than it will get in the comments section of this article. Therefore I will stick with the broad brush-strokes of my main points above.

  5. avatar
    Karel Van Isacker

    Well, ignoring “growing problems” has the past 30 years resulted in a “defaulting” of states on ensuring basic security to its citizens. And yes, the EU is like a gruyre cheese, whereby criminals alike go from one country to the other, while illegals dissappear and often turn up in criminal areas. More than time that the EU rethinks how it should deal with this issue.

  6. avatar
    Samo Košmrlj

    Indeed this is worrying, because people turn their anger- which comes from the economical, social, ______ (insert any adjective you think would fit into this context) crisis that we are in – into the standard target: immigrants. Instead we should be very angry at our governments, our economy, our educational system (yes also educational system, because it turns young people into mindless drones, atleast that is the case in my country), our society. Here is the cause of all problems, not at the immigrants’ side.

  7. avatar
    MandyandPj Leneghan

    I would say that the movements of peoples are a direct consequence of the EU’s involvement with the empire. An empire that is destroying the social and moral fabric of Europe. National politicians have and are collaborating with this empire. As awareness is rising, these national politicians are now using the immigration environment, that they have created to deflect attention from the causes of the problems. The solution is for Europe to withdraw from the empire, cease the aggressive interfering in non empire independent states, which causes death, destruction and migration/refugees. Even today, on behalf of the empire, I see that the EU has committed another international crime by continuing and increasing sanctions on small independent nations, increased the warmongering rhetoric which, IF successful, can only result in more death and destruction and an even greater number of population dispersal. I see that empire as a 4th Reich. You all KNOW who that 4th Reich is. Get out of it, have nothing to do with it, expel them out of Europe. That WILL solve most of Europe’s problems…pj

  8. avatar
    George Alexandrides

    Is Europe commited to free movement of people and capital? I live in northern Greece and today I learned that one can not send more than 400 euros to Italy per month from Greece. And that the government plans to move immigrants from Athens to camps in northern Greece before the general elections in about a months time. These people are here not for a dish of food per day. They probably have left families behind and they want to work and send back something. They won’t stay locked in a camp. I am pro euro but if Europe wants Greece to be just a fence to immigration I might as well go for the drachma after all!

  9. avatar
    Тодор Пастармаджиев

    Hi. First i must say that my opinion maybe wont be objective ,because i am Bulgarian . But i cant understant that strange situation when first France and Germany told that Bulgaria is an example for financial stability ,after that Netherland and Denmark creating websides which undermine our international credibility . Because we were poor and lower then Neth. and Danes .
    Then what is the conclusion : Bulgaria and bulgarians are something like animals in cages which are interesting to be watched how easy they can live with payments of 150E at month , and to be admires for their greatest finansial stability , but they are too primitive to be push off to live in your community .

  10. avatar
    Peter Schellinck

    Stoking fears of foreigners is perhaps the oldest trick in the political playbook.

    Throughout history western countries have absorbed wave after wave of immigration without civilizational collapse. Now days we are categorizing different groups of immigrants to suit the plea. It is a fact that many Eastern Europeans have lost out on a payment they would have been entitled to due to the fact employers who were pocketing taxes instead of paying them legitimately exploited them. Paradoxically, anti-immigrant prejudices are often based on flawed premises, but exposure to more information doesn’t necessarily change them.

    Anti-immigrant attitudes are far more closely correlated to fears of crime than cultural concerns, even though first-generation immigrants are no more likely than natives to be criminals. The familiar old arguments against immigrants — that they are criminals, that their culture makes them a bad fit, that they take jobs from natives — are mutating into an anti-Islamic bias that is becoming institutionalized in the continent’s otherwise ordinary politics. What is so striking about these forms of prejudice, which go beyond ordinary anti-immigrant feeling, is that they are taking root in otherwise enlightened, progressive states. One factor that cannot be ignored is the threat of terrorism, so closely associated today with radical Islam.

    A hallmark of liberal, secular societies is supposed to be respect for different cultures, including traditional, religious cultures — even intolerant ones. Many Europeans seem to have forgotten that their continent was home to other outsiders well before the arrival of today’s Muslim minority.

  11. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Though I am not against immigration myself (as i am too an immigrant) i feel that irresponsible immigration laws and attitudes of our governments have turned Europeans (and in many cases rightly so) against the immigrant populations.

    Before I left my home country, Greece, I always had the dream to see it more “colorful”. But when I started traveling in other European countries and experienced the situation there, well I wasn’t so sure about it any more…

    In Belgium they have many immigrants from north Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Most Belgians that I have spoke with do not like or get on with them, especially the Moroccans. A lot of them are unemployed, most of them in fact until their mid 30s… Yet their Government keeps inviting them into the country and offers them housing and welfare..Well what is the point in that?

    If you need workers you may attract them and close the gap that you have in your working force. But what is the point in allowing people in your society if you do not give them jobs, if you have them as second class citizens and put them on benefits and give them the stigma. Why create such divisions in your society between the native or working and established citizens and those who dreamed a better life but instead they found themselves being the scape goat.

    Legal immigration can be beneficial in a society and not only for the work they can do. If you have a state with only one ethnic background and religion, sometimes it is easier to manipulate. I have seen it in Greece and here in Ireland where I live now for 8 years, where the Church in both countries have (or used to have) so much power and influence over the population that corruption was and is endemic and hard to make people open their eyes and see what is really happening.

    A society with a healthy influx of immigrants from both east and west, north and south, developed and underdeveloped world is like a person who have traveled abroad so much and his mind is open. But only if we give them jobs and political rights in the country, give them a voice. If we have them living on benefits, then they become simply a nuisance!! That is why people are fed up with some immigrant groups and I totally understand them. But it is not their fault! It is our governments’ bad management of the issue..

    In Ireland the situation is better, because even though they have a lot of immigrants, the influx is far more balanced and varied. Foreigners from all over Europe, America, Australia, Japan, from developed and richer countries, but also from poorer ones like Africa and the middle East. So they bring so many new ideas and way of living in the country, and that has benefited the Irish so much. In Greece on the other hand, we have immigrants mainly from poorer or less democratic countries and in their majority they are not legal. So the Greeks have not benefited from their immigrants as a society much, apart from their work! The few “westerners” that exist in Greece are usually pensioners that do not participate in “the commons” anyway. We need working force both from other European nations and outside of Europe, so that the Greek society can become more open minded.

    But for this to happen we should have salary harmonization so that a German or Swedish worker can actually want to move to Greece for work. Why should they, when they are going to earn in Greece half of what they earn in their own countries? And of course technology and industries to attract workers from all over Europe and abroad.

    In Britain, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Austria and most developed and rich European countries they have the same problem like Belgium, immigrants that move there for the benefits, because either they are forced into this situation, or they move there deliberately for that. They may have had different dreams when they entered Europe, but they found discriminating laws that made them second class citizens so they gave up.

    My mantra is less immigration, better integration. Invite only the numbers of people that you need, with the qualifications that you need, but give them jobs and equal rights from the beginning. Illegal immigration should not be allowed. We do not want just cheap workforce for a few months or years and then discard them and expect them just to go away..We should prosecute companies that employ illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is contributing to human trafficking, sex trafficking for women, drugs and weapon or illegal goods trafficking.. It is disgraceful for our societies at this age to have people stacked like lambs in a truck, to be abused and exploited..It is a form of a modern slave trade..!! And it should end now! Promote legal immigration instead.

    America, Canada and Australia are attracting skilled workforce and the kind of workers that they need, why don’t we do the same? Asylum seekers of course fall in a totally different category, but even with them we have to have standard rules that must not be abused and create a messy situation both for the countries that accept them, or for the asylum seekers themselves…

  12. avatar
    Catia Vanessa

    Well I am from and live in Portugal. In my country,we do have a lot of immigrants and we say that we are a country of immigrants once portuguese people started going ( like in the 60s,70s and 80s)) to other countries to have a better life…or better…survive. Here we have a lot of unemployement and everyday there are banks taking houses back for lack of payment, families without food on the table… I am totally FOR immigration IF the immigrants work and pay their taxes like the locals. We all have the right to reach out for a better life. In my country the only things I dont agree with is the huge amount of ? payed in social help to those who have never contributed to our country and the fact that many individuals arrived in Portugal running away from their countries for crimes like murder. Immigration is necessary,healthy and a right to all of us.

    • avatar
      Arturo Breceda

      I agree with you , but what do you think of illegal immigration i believed that’s bad for any country. Whats you opinion???

  13. avatar
    Patrick Leneghan

    I would say that the movements of peoples are a direct consequence of the EU’s involvement with the empire. An empire that is destroying the economic, social and moral fabric of Europe. National politicians have and are collaborating with this empire. As awareness is rising, these national politicians are now using the immigration environment, that they have created to deflect attention from the causes of the problems. The solution is for Europe to withdraw from the empire, cease the aggressive interfering in non empire independent states, which causes death, destruction and migration/refugees. Even today, on behalf of the empire, I see that the EU has committed another international crime by continuing and increasing sanctions on small independent nations, increased the warmongering rhetoric which, IF successful, can only result in more death and destruction and an even greater number of population dispersal. I see that empire as a 4th Reich. You all KNOW who that 4th Reich is. Get out of it, have nothing to do with it, expel them out of Europe. That WILL solve most of Europe’s problems.

  14. avatar
    Daniel Pluskota

    I think imigration is good process(economical, biological and cultural). Imigrants are not responible for financial crisis and terrorist attacks. UE should be more regardless of USA. The american are not bad nation but their authorities uses world as their toy. US gov is responisble for terrorism and economic crisis.

  15. avatar
    Jan Dik

    All the people should have the same rights,irrespective of their gender,religion and origin!

    • avatar
      Arturo Breceda

      I agree with you , however, there are LAWS that everybody must follow..

  16. avatar
    catherine benning

    Immigration is a tricky discussion because first of all the EU, who runs this wesite ,does not want people to either relate what is taking place in their own lives, with respect to the vast immigrant population, as it fears what it may reveal. And secondly it does not want to have to confront the problem seriously..

    Freedom of expression means just that. If you cannot handle the fall out from open and free discussion, why have a website for that purpose? Your opening statement says it all.

    People will not simply write what you want them to. And what you must ask yourself, with all honesty is, why do you fear the true voice that the public may expose? And don’t play the race or hate card. That is a cop out.

    Do you fear you have made a grave error in your judgment with regard to the issues on immigration and that your fear is really based in what will happen if you admit it?

    Immigration is uncontrolled. And the policy on this matter was not to fill the jobs you pretend it was for. There are few jobs of real value. The majority of immigrants arive in Europe’s penniless and in the main, unable to do the jobs you claim are there for them. Illiterate people are not work fodder.

    This creates havoc in all the states. Every aspect of society is affected, social housing is crumbling under the strain, the schools are overstretched and unable to teach as the vast majority of children who arrive do not speak the native language they find themselves in. The benefit system is unable to support these people to a civilised standard level and therefore crime is rampant where the immigrant population is heaviset. It is steeped in a kind of criminality not seen in Europe since the middle ages. Example, sex slavery of underage girls by gangs of Asian men. Who sell children as young as eleven for men to abuse and exploit. And the reason for that is said to be, these girls are not worth more because western culture doesn’t keep them modest. It is therefore cultural. You imported into our society, en masse, something we were not equiped to address or expect. Why did you do that? You knew what took place in their homeland and couldn’t have believed it wasn’t going to happen here once they took up residence.

    Crime against women is now untennable. Honour killing, forced marriage, and simple brutality not experienced at the rate it is now for hundreds of years in our society.

    Of course I could list these cultural differnece ad infinitum, but that is unecessary as it is known across the board what is happening, but, it is never discussed for fear of not having an answer to the problem you created.

    However, you can only run away from facts for a period of time before it will hit you in the face and explode. As is already taking place. Ideology is one thing, reality is another. Having the minds of teenagers full of idealism and then realising you knew very little of what would be the outcome of such follishness is no answer to those people of Europe who are suffering dreadfully under the weight of it all. Both financially, physically and emotionally.

    It’s time you grew up, faced facts and stopped dabbling in mind games of intellectual idiocy, before it is too late.

    • avatar
      Debating Europe

      Hi Catherine,

      First: the EU does not run this website. We are run independently, and supported by our partners here (including the European Parliament). However, we have editorial control. For the record, nobody from any EU institution has ever told us what we can or cannot write.

      Second: we are happy to publish any comments, no matter how positive or critical of the EU, as long as they conform to our terms of use (i.e. we have certain ground-rules about respecting one another, not using strong language, not threatening one another, etc.). We added the warning above because we were already forced to delete a comment from this thread that included swearing and attacked another commenter.

      So, there is no conspiracy. As long as you respect your fellow commenters and are not using racist or offensive language, then we will publish your comment.

  17. avatar
    Curtis Poe

    At the very least, Europe needs to do something to address the skilled labor shortage that much of Europe has been facing ( While the Blue Card scheme has been an interesting attempt to unify 27 different sets of immigration laws and thus attract the skilled labor which is almost heading to the US, more needs to be done if Europe wants to remain competitive here. Euractive reports (see previous link): “85% of unskilled labour migration goes to the EU and 5% to the US, [but] only 5% of skilled labour lands in the EU”. Europe needs to be competitive here, but so long as immigration policies are being overwhelmed by short-term politcal rhetoric, it’s going to be a hard problem to solve.

  18. avatar
    catherine benning

    The answer to skilled labour shortage is to give the needed skills to Europeans already in situ. Not import endless immigrants to fill positions we should be filling ourselves. A healthy work force is good for the nation, not endless lines of unemployed people who are unsuitable for the work offered. That is absurd in practice.

    Immigration is simply a method of government holding down labour costs. In other words, a low cost work force who is barely able to afford a decent living. It is devised to reduce salaries, or wages, whatver you want to call it. It is said to hold down inflation. However, it doesn’t work that way. Immigration is far too costly for the tax payer and serves little purpose for European citizens, except to add to overwhelming responsibility and inability to address the basic problems we already have and are not dealing with.

    Time to take an adult approach to the reality of what you have created and correct it.

    • avatar

      Is the average college student aware of the so called labor shortage in a particular area when they choose their major? No. To address the shortage, the EU needs to invest in programs that train native workers in these areas- which they have made no effort to do.

  19. avatar
    Patrick Leneghan

    There is no doubt that the levels of racism is far greater than what is being admitted. Current mainstream conservative parties DO exploit that. In fact, here in the UK, the conservative party probably only sneaked past the labour party by exploiting the immigration situation AND the anti-EU sentiments. However, all sides, regarding the immigration/refugee situation are being totally dishonest. For example, why do refugees from the Sub-Sahara risk their lives to get out of there? Could it be because of our interference and exploitation in that area? As for migrants, why aren’t citizens being made aware of the international agreements that our respective governments have signed us up to? Those that are based around so called anti-competition rules, which include people, manufacturing and services. All globalists control policies. As for EU citizens, I do not believe that someone from Poland, Romania, Ireland etc actually want to leave their homelands (for the most part). So why are they being forced to leave? Yes, forced is the correct description, forced not at the end of a gun as we know it but by the economic gun that is causing havoc on a planetary scale. I thought that we were all one happy family in the EU? How come that this is not the case? Why the differing application of social democratic principles, including salaries.wages and conditions, between member nations, that cause one nation to be be more attractive to the other. Could it be that some of these current member nations do not qualify to be a member? Could it be that the EU is a farce and has failed? In any case, like any national policy, immigration IS the business of all citizens and you cannot force values down their throats. The only way to deal with the situation is HONESTY! Why do human beings leave their homelands, whether as refugees or immigrants and what can be done to remove that need. One quick way of course is to STOP bombing them, to STOP providing them with so called humanitarian sanctions. To STOP bribing dictators in their regions and let them sort their own political problems out the only way that works…people power…

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      I agree with much of what you write. However, I disagree strongly with the notion you put forward that you cannot and should not expect immigrants, who have a culturally different lifestyle or social expectation to those we have in Europe, should not be reqired to relinquish social activities that are unlawful in our union. That is absurd.

      If people decide they want to immigrate to any country they must first be required to understand, in full, what is expected of them as citizens of the host country. And then be advised as to the consequences of actions they take, that may be acceptable where they are, but not in Europe where they want to use to improve their standard of living.

      Woman and girls are suffering in the most horrendous form as a result of cultural expectations of immigrants from countries that do not respect the rights of women and girls as equals in society. Although this is not the single difference as violence and murder through the act of various religious beliefs, such a West African Obiah, mutilations and torture of those believed to be infested with evil spirits for example, cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. And this is a way of life for many on different continents that decide they want the better life than they have at home. As is forced marriage, honour killing, female circumcision, sex trade services of women of all ages, but mostly what we consider children, as with the spreading crime within the Asian community of white female children groomed for older men who paid handsomely for sex with girls who are not from their own group, as they know they themesleves would be the subject of murder if they touch their community of muslim daughters.

      In fact, the more I think of it, the more insane the policy of immigration from outside Europe becomes. Why do we need this added cost and distress to our society by people who feel our civilization is abhorant to them? And have no intention of adopting a respect for our way of life. How are we benefiting from this? Explain it to me.

      And did you know EU policy on immigration from outside Europe over the next 30 years is 150 million more. Have they lost their minds completely. This will destroy our economy utterly, let alone change the face of our cultural life beyond recognition, into a middle age perspective of what is acceptable. That way we will need a prison on every corner which will become of paramount importance if any of us are to be safe. Is that a progressive way to spend our taxes?

      And do you believe if there was a referendum on it, the majority would vote for that? Which is why we so desperately need to follow the Swiss and have the right to call for a referendum if the majority are unhappy with the dictate of those in office.

      Our taxes are being misspent and it is time to put a stop to that across the whole of Europe. Multiculturalism has failed and Globalisation is a con.

      Time to wake up.

  20. avatar

    The Africa/Middle East countries that produces most of these immigrants constantly mismanages themselves political, economic and socially into a mess why should Europe pick up the slack? The usual European oppression theory? Bullshit. China had that and a suffered a TON more atrocities in the past century and still succeeded, there is no excuse why these countries can do the same.

    Europe should not be a humanitarian aid organization or a welfare free lunch just because these countries are irresponsible in taking care of their own people. Nor should Europe bring in uncivilized people stuck in the Middle Ages that frothed in an irrational violent rage just because some Wilder guy verbally criticizes a religious book.

    Europe needs even tighter immigration controls to the point that it would not be a viable option in the minds of would be immigrants that it doesn’t need. Call it right-wing. I call this the right thing to do.

  21. avatar

    The hallmark of a democracy is to appeal to the interest of your demographic. For the past 60 years, Europe’s leaders have ignored the anti-immigration demographic and hence anti-immigration parties have been formed and gained ground. I think that those that support anti-immigration parties see the leaders from major political parties as traitors and are unlikely to believe them after betraying indigenous Europeans for decades.

  22. avatar
    Faacuul Maxamed

    I believe the immigration is not really good in my opinion

  23. avatar

    To be honest I’m completely against those types of political parties but I think everyone has the right to think what they want as long as it’s not racist.

  24. avatar

    Not entirely true, because immigration will create a more diverse social environment, which is not a bad thing. But at the same time, political parties represent the voices of some people and should not stifle the will of these people.

  25. avatar

    Everyone is entitled to think whatever he desires. But political parties should be impartial. They are the ones who give the laws, we are kind of small soldiers who just follow and trust what they say. So if they are giving their own opinions such as doing campaigns on anti-immigration, citizens trust them and the racism will never end.

  26. avatar

    Everyone is entitled to think whatever he desires. But political parties should be impartial. They are the ones who give the laws, we are kind of small soldats who just follow and trust what they say. So if they are giving their own opinions such as doing campaigns on anti-immigration, citizens trust them and the racism will never end.

  27. avatar

    I believe they should not, because political parties are important people with power that can manipulate anyone to believe something, even if it is wrong. Making them believe that immigration is bad, is just outrageous, they had to flee their countries because of many problems that we couldn’t even imagine and they are hoping to find better life somewhere else and we are depriving them from it because we agree with powerful political parties.

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