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‘United in Diversity’ is the official motto of the European Union. However, with far-right and anti-immigration parties expected to be among the big winners of the upcoming EU elections in May, are Europeans growing less tolerant? We’ve already covered topics including hate speech and xenophobia, but today we want to take a look at whether Europe is really growing more xenophobic and intolerant, or whether the predicted rise of the far-right is a protest against the failure of the mainstream during the economic crisis.

A growing set of reports – from organisations including the Council of Europe, the European Network Against Racism, Demos and Chatham House – have found that support is indeed growing for far right parties across the EU. This week, the Council of Europe’s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) warned that Germany was not doing enough to prevent racist and homophobic attacks. Earlier this month, the President of Romania was fined by courts for saying in an interview that Roma traditionally “live off stealing”.

Not long ago, we interviewed Cecilia Wikström, a Swedish MEP who sits with the  Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament and campaigns in favour of freedom of speech. She believes the rise in support for far-right parties has less to do with rising xenophobia in Europe, and more to do with a desire to punish mainstream parties for their failures:

wikstromWill my children have a proper education? Can we put our kids through university? Will we be able to afford to stay in this house? Can we expect our parents to receive a proper healthcare when needed? These questions illustrate the legitimate fear and worry of European citizens about their future – a fear that far-right parties across Europe are profiting from. They are naming scapegoats, in the form of the other person that looks different, has a different background, speaks a different language and believes in something else than we do: asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants.

We put the same question to Morten Messerschmidt, an MEP with the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (who sit with the Eurosceptics in the European Parliament). He believes EU policies are to blame for increasing racism and xenophobia in Europe:

Morten MesserschmidtWhat we see is that fairly extremist parties that were usually not a part of the normal political landscape are entering politics. I think it can be explained predominantly by one thing: it’s because the EU has not delivered the solutions that it promised. On the contrary, they have created lots of problems. With the open borders and migration policies of the EU, they have sparked racism and xenophobia across Europe; and with the obviously catastrophic consequences of the euro they have turned the eurozone into the last remaining big economy in the world still in recession.

If you look at European history, it’s only normal that when the politicians fail gravely – which the European politicians have done – it gives fuel to extremist movements. And it’s not only right-wing extremists, it’s also left-wing extremists, where you see various communist parties rising in different countries.

So, what’s the best response to growing support for far right parties? Should there be a ban on extremist political parties? One of our readers, Frans, argues that such bans would be justified because “a party is a means to enact a certain idea” and the idea behind extremist parties is counter to democratic values. How would Morten Messerschmidt respond to his suggestion?

Morten MesserschmidtI think, first and foremost, it is not an EU issue. Free speech is an inherent part of our democratic values and these questions are up to the member states. However, I think the limit should be set at the point where there is incitement or inspiration to carry out violence. I don’t think banning impolite or stupid remarks would lead to less racism. Actually, when you look at countries with the most regulatory approach to this, for instance Sweden, Germany and Austria, these are the countries where you see the biggest growth of neo-Nazism… Stupid remarks are better fought out in the open fields than inside the court room.

On this point, Wikström agrees with Messerschmidt, arguing that there are serious risks associated with excluding movements from political participation:

wikstromOne of the fundamental pillars of the EU is the right to freedom of assembly. These parties are democratic movements and we must never label them as martyrs, because if they are not allowed to appear in public then they will appear in the darkness. Instead, we should question their agenda when it comes to education, research, politics, economic issues, social issues and cultural issues. Because they do not have an agenda in those fields, and when citizens realize that they are completely empty-handed then how can they ever be elected as legitimate MEPs or members of national parliaments?

What do YOU think? Is European society really becoming more intolerant and xenophobic? And, if so, what should be the response? Share your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comments section below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers for their reactions!

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – mik



115 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Gregory Mason

    **** diversity. It’s brought me nothing of value so far and I fail to see how it will in the future.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      So you’ve never used anything from any other group of peoples? Never eaten Thai food, pizza, Chinese, used anything with a diesel engine and so on and so forth? Get real about this, diversity is the driving force of innovation and social evolution.

    • avatar
      Anti-EU Citizen

      @Duncan The variety of food is such a lame argument.If I want to eat food from other continents it’s much better to buy a cook book then to import the cook and his 75 closest relatives.See the difference you europhiliac tool?

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Anti-EU Citizen, first off you clearly don’t know the first thing about me. Secondly, that cook book if it does indeed contain recipes from another culture would have involved a cultural exchange. Ergo diversity. I never said anything about importing a cook and 75 relatives did I? If you are going to insult me at least get your story straight first, I’m awash with real character flaws for you to attack. No need to make crap up about me.

  2. avatar
    Karel Van Isacker

    About time we let that “diversity” enter the Shuman buildings… I do not think people would be happy there either. Making rules and legislation from an ivory tower like the EU/EC is easy, but living in the reality (crime, etc.) resulting from this legalised diversity is a total different story where the politicians obviously have never been confronted with. In short, I dio not propagate xenophobic reactions like the ones in Ukrain against the Russians and obviously under impulse of the EU, however rather time people and especially the politicians become realistic and consider and deal with failures of a very liberalised diversity level in the EU.

  3. avatar
    Carlos V Arc

    Same as before… Open-friendly societies remain quite tolerant, closed-traditional societies remain not so tolerant of diversity. Every country differs, Europe is not 1. But a common aspect everywere in world is that trouble occurs when in a place, many million natives don’t have a job and often get less basic administration help than compared to newcomers, local people start to feel very disprotected and here start troubles… So, to the question, my answer is No. People tendency is more into a globalized, multinational idea… But No protection = No welfare

    • avatar
      Vesselin

      I agree 100%
      Thank you Carlos, for writing what I was thinking instead of me :)

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Yes. But there’s more to it than that. When newcomers are treated differently than the pre-existing residents in any form it generates ill feeling. One example is when laws are excluded on religious grounds, or when people get lighter punishment for infractions against the law because someone in office doesn’t want to come across as racist, xenophobic, theophobic or whatever other reasons they give for not treating everyone equally. One example of this is when people are recruiting terrorist/extremists, far too few arrests in this field.

  4. avatar
    Pavlos Vasileiadis

    As long as the crisis continues, I am afraid so. When people are jobless, they grow very insecure and desperate. Extremists know very well how to manipulate all these negative feelings and gain political profits from it. I blame mostly mainstream politicians. They are responsible for the impoverishment of the people of Europe and still they continue with their old traditional greedy policies. They fail to see that, by not changing, all these xenophobic demagogues will only become stronger. Display of intolerance may still seem now like a desperate way of protesting the situation, but if bad economy and inequality keeps galloping at such pace, it might easily become a way of life…

  5. avatar
    Seb Chopin Bizpop

    it depends whether we’re talking about the peasants back home or the modern forward thinking people here…. shame we can’t just wipe out the remains of the past… traditions and identities built on nations, religions, other peoples experiences should be annihilated to let people be themselves and discover each other… maintaining these ‘conditioning’ ideas and this brainwashing is the main obstacle to any form of societal evolution… otherwise I can go back to territorial logic and say I don’t like belgians ‘cos my bike was stolen in 1984… so they must all be thieves at the time and ever since… the first step is to get rid of national education in favour of mutlinational schools so that the next generation won’t even imagine the issues that are debated now… because ‘nationals’ will never understand…

    • avatar
      Berings Vønne

      I dont know, the world would be pretty boring without culture. It would be bland and dull. I really hate pathetic liberals like you, views like that should be illegal.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      At the start of this post I was certain they were being sarcastic! Become diversely tolerant by making everyone think the same way?

  6. avatar
    Bruno Casqueira

    I don’t know how can be possible some individuals here talk about “diversity” as such a negative thing. They didn’ t become civilized and modern people at all. Diversity is the most natural thing, it it is the recognition of other inviduals as free human beings, and they should do as they wish, like anyone else. Failing to undestand this is to fail to understand the basics of individual freedom and the basics of humanism

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Do as they wish, you do mean on condition it doesn’t. Impose upon others being able to do what they wish? Rapists being allowed to do as they wish for example would not be a good situation!

  7. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Yes they are…. But who can blame them? When their governments and the media they control fill their brains with nonsense and propaganda? Just take a look at Britain and their fear of the Bulgarians and Romanians and think of the role of trash-papers like the Herald… In Greece we always read about the crimes that non-nationals commit, never about the hard working migrants that contribute to our society.. When for decades you read in your papers that a non national robbed or killed an old lady, but you never do so about some of the positive incidents then who can blame the people? There is an agenda set by our media and governments to have always a scapegoat at hand, just in case.. To place the blame on others for our failures as a society and a nation!!!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      Because of your RACIST postings [although to be fair YOU have moderated and ‘de-extremized’ this single, singular post – no doubt due to me! :)] and your Bulgarian RACIST friend I WILL send letters to ALL Irish journalism schools questioning your disgusting/deplorable/demonic/despicable [in actuality lack of] ETHICS.

      Unfortunately for you, you have been moulded by a country mired in extremist politics where the EXTREME right kill others and the EXTREME left kill others.

      YOU have to LEARN that most of 1st world Europe decry EXTREMIST politics.

      It is extremist RACISTs like YOU that amplify intolerance in the Greater EU.

      YOU live in Ireland, genetic home of Muhammad Ali and Barak Obama and me [of course] – please, please, please LEARN from the tolerant/accommodating/respectful Irish otherwise you will continue to do a great disservice to the great [historically speaking at least] nation of Greece.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      The hard working immigrants are not newsworthy because they are doing nothing more than should be expected of them
      Even if you have 999,000 hardworking immigrants but one only who goes and kills an old lady that is still one old lady who would still be alive if it wasnt for immigration

      Most discussions on immigration have the pro lobby quoting statistics like there is some “acceptable” level of crime or fraud that accompanies immigrants, there isn’t… one criminal entering a country is one too many and if it gives a bad name to all the other immigrants from that country then I’m afraid that is just tough….maybe the countries that people emmigrate from should be responsible for doing more to ensure their criminals can’t leave the country, unfortunately most are just happy to get rid of them

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      @Tarquin you are a self obsessed nutter!! Nothing more to say..

      @Paul I have many non EU friends and colleagues in Ireland. I have to say they work more and harder than the Irish themselves, plus they get exploited as they do not have the same rights as we, the EU citizens have.. Plus they pay higher taxes. They make up for every criminal that enters the country.. How about the Irish or British drug dealers that roam Spain and Holland?

    • avatar
      George

      Britain has nothing to do with Europe so the British case is separate. They are anti Europeans, jealous about their falling back near the third world. If anything it’s a good thing they’ve been cleaned out from the political union

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Christos, I’d like to point out you are wrong. I’m British and I’m not afraid of Romanians or Bulgarians. I don’t think I’ve met a Bulgarian, but I work with two Romanians (and previously a third) none of them have ever frightened me, and neither did the Romanians that ran into my car while giving a Romanian a lift home from work that tried to imply it was my fault they’d hit me from behind and then tried to shout me down. Absolutely 0 fear.
      @George, you sir are very definitely a perfect example of how discrimination towards others does in fact exist in Europe. Far too often you are attacking the English/British people with your comments.

  8. avatar
    Pedro Redondeiro

    Nop, not the “Europeans”, but instead as allways in the European History a few oportunist extremists, nothing more than that! However, there is a social problem inside Europe, concerning the social benefits schemes all over the member states, that are abused by some, unfortunetly… Well this means that the EU insitutions need to do something to prevent this type of abusive usage of these social schemes! So in this sense some action is needed, these abusive behaviours should be tackled right now, so that we can have a just and “clean” europe. ;)

  9. avatar
    Pedro Redondeiro

    Nop, not the “Europeans”, but instead as allways in the European History a few oportunist extremists, nothing more than that! However, there is a social problem inside Europe, concerning the social benefits schemes all over the member states, that are abused by some, unfortunetly… Well this means that the EU insitutions need to do something to prevent this type of abusive usage of these schemes!

    • avatar
      Duncan

      I hope you realise the irony of your comment . . . . . . . . . . . .

  10. avatar
    catherine benning

    Listen to this link and know what is gong on in my country today and it is worse now than it has ever been. They tell us it is coming from the EU…..Is it? Political correctness has become a nightmare here, our rights on every level are being assaulted. And it’s coming from both sides of the spectrum, right and left. It is blatant control, an act of tyranny. Here is a few people, of diverse backgrounds, discussing what’s going on. And they know it’s subversive.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyobJOr784Y

    Yet, only yesterday in the British House of Commons, there was a debate brought by our right wing Conservative party on the move further toward ‘positive’ discrimination for women, race, disability and so on, in all manner of practices. It was truly alarming and created a physical sickness in its underlying horror. The idea that because of what one has between the legs makes them right for a seat on the board of a company, or to sit in the House of Commons as an MP, by absolute manipulation is not only ludicrous it is a disservice to the nation in the highest decree. What we currently have in our Parliament, as a result of this kind of chicanery is laughable. And, they wondered why so many of the chosen leg uppers are leaving in their droves. It didn’t occur to them once that the people they are taking in are not up to the reality of the job in any shape or form. They were simply cherry picked because of their appearance. And they are floundering, and making fools of themselves whilst being indulged because of their age, sex, race, sexual persuasion, rather than for their ability at the top of the tree to perform with honour. Whoever came up with this idea neds to be kicked firmly in the rump.

    Oh, and it originated in that sinking land of the free, you know the one I mean. And even after their decades of it and the reduction in standards, they simply refuse to see, there is nothing ‘positive’ in discrimination no matter how they try to sell it.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Catherine, I agree with your main point. But you must acknowledge it stems from a previous(possibly still currently) point of discrimination from the opposite side. I.e. People who were female/gay/black or whatever were being denied the opportunity to prove they were up to the task in question. Overcorrection is not the way forwards, but percentages are the only measurable device, so what else could have been done for the short term solution?

  11. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    I think people are fed up with the eu and the undemocratic way it carries on…an attitudes like Seb Chopin Bizpop ….i.e. anyone not agreeing is a peasant , unevolved , uneducated.

    • avatar
      elvi

      looking at voter turn out in the UK I think the EU is really going to struggle to get people to turn out to vote in the EU elections. yes people are fed up and they are getting angry too. not a good sign.

  12. avatar
    Andrea Tuswald

    Bruno Casqueira when muslim people regularly step germans to death, and when in some parts of the northern countries and elsewhere women who go out alone are raped by muslims and africans, think about who is actually the uncivilised!

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Do you not see how you prove the point? Rape and murder are crimes, and rightly so. But why do you feel the need to point out the ethnicity of the criminals? Incidentally, do you have any idea how many German nationals are commiting murder and rape In Germany? Or do those figures not help to prove your mistrust of others is reasonable?

  13. avatar
    Cosimo Drac

    we are already diverse since europe contains more than 30 nations….we do not need more diversity…more diversity will bring chaos

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Diversity is how you got nations, before that we were tribes. It doesn’t bring chaos to have diversity.

  14. avatar
    Bruno Casqueira

    Andrea, can you swear there are no German rapists in Germany or Austrian rapists in Austria, etc. ??? Can you prove with some statstics that only muslims can do criminal stuff? BE RATIONAL!! Tired of irrational people who CANNOT PROVE WHAT THEY CLAIM, simply because they are lying or ommiting the truth! Cosimo… nationality is nothing to do with diversity, capici? There are many forms of diversity, nationality is only one of them, I think this should be absolutely clear for every single person on this planet, because it’s a plain truth

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Well put.

  15. avatar
    Bruno Casqueira

    ps: I remember the case of an austrian who raped a little girl and kept her for nearly 20 years completely isolated from the rest of the world, and he was not muslim.. he was a pure Austrian… this should make you think a lot before telling what you told. This was one of the most horrendous stories about rapists in all Europe, and it happened in Austria by a Austrian (“the Amstetten Monster” case)

  16. avatar
    Glória Martins

    As we saw in 2013, Europeans are oppen even to the European Union new ethical divisa “Cannibalism is an Humanism”. No big indignation in face of EU sponsoring os Syrian Rebels Cannibals.

  17. avatar
    Alexander Aslanidis

    Try not to use the term intolerant, or tolerant. We do NOT tolerate someone that is different from us, because tolerate means that he or she annoys us for some reason and we try not to think of it. By using it you suggest that this person is or does something wrong but we shouldn’t attack him/her for what he/she is and “tolerate” him/her. Instead you should use the word RESPECT or DISRESPECT. Because thats the case.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Alexander Aslanidis
      Tolerance leads to acceptance leads to integration leads to respect leads to harmony.

      Tolerate is a NECESSARY state wherein the greater society learns, comprehends and [hopefully] understands what [IR evEr] the minor community has to offer to ENHANCE the community at large.

  18. avatar
    Patrick Hennings

    Tolerance is not innate, but must be basically lived and taught.
    For this reason, it is a fundamental error in the educational policy and cultural policy to save money!

  19. avatar
    Vítor Manuel Ramalho

    Os europeus estão acordar. Não se trata de intolerância, racismo ou xenofobia, trata-se de defender a cultura e identidade e o trabalho para os autóctones. Mais como esquerda e direita já provaram que não são solução, o nacionalismo ganha força como única alternativa.

  20. avatar
    Bruno Casqueira

    Freedom from David Fuzzey would be a start… I remember your “bla bla bla bla bla” without any proves of what you say for years. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF and with others, is it asking too much? BE RATIONAL!

  21. avatar
    Bruno Casqueira

    Freedom from David Fuzzey would be a start… I remember your “bla bla bla bla bla” without any proves of what you say for years. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF and with others, is it asking too much? BE RATIONAL!

  22. avatar
    Lopez Isidra

    i want you to include in your debate the rights of the children who born and raise in european country, they are also a human stop, discrimination. if you are really a good leaders or human.

  23. avatar
    Xristos Daskalakos

    try to speek about intolerance and diversity in the muslim countrys ed not hear ……we have enough to blame the european cittizens with those new american way terminologies of nothing!

    • avatar
      Duncan

      ?

  24. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Germany, seeking for its “vital space”, drags for the 4th time the rest of Europe to a new bloodshed.
    Europe seems that doesn’t learn from history. :(

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Nikolaos Sotirelis
      Well said!

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Now, why don’t you Greeks vote for a government that will take you out of EU/Euro? Seems plenty of masochists will endlessly vote for the pro-banker and anti-Greek parties like Nea Demokratia and PASOK?

  25. avatar
    Xristos Daskalakos

    you want to create new yougoslavies and destroy european culture putting in mixer radical differencies from one side theocrtatic dogmas of 15 century and the other side orthologic Cartesian understading of the reality!!!

  26. avatar
    Panos Mentesidis

    Generally yes…Europeans are xenophobic on their own and the crisis hasn’t helped…and now they are becoming racist against each other as well. After Bild and all those German newspapers started attacking the Greek nation and other southern European nations it is pretty much clear of how the media and several politicians in the powerfull countries in Europe feel about xenophobia and racism they are all for it.
    I personally think that racism in Europe will get worse and it will not be the kind of racism that you get in the US. I think that within the next years in Europe there will be a complete dissregard for human life. Rich countries like Germany, France, Holland and so on will pass laws that will make life hell for anyone who is not from that country…and ofcourse the whole movement of people and goods and stuff will be scraped faster than the speed of light when the extremist completely take over and they will…

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Standing up for the rights and needs of your own population ahead of others is not ‘extremist’ but common sense.

      And also it is long overdue.

      We have the right to make the laws we want in our country, without Eurosoviet apparatchiks like Barroso, Rehn or Rompuy telling us what to do.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Fear of what’s different is an instinctual tendency. Intellect enables people to problem solve rationally and override instinct in favour of a better option (as long as the situation and intellect in question allow sufficient time to come up with a better solution).

    • avatar
      Duncan

      That’s just not accurate at all.

  27. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    We were forced to join that “union” and the only profit we have is to suffer more and more because of it. It’s more then obvious that the West profits from us, politically and economically. When they destroy the Balkans and the East completely they will start a new union somewhere else, to use their resourses in the same destructive manner.

  28. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    Your comment is very stupid and has nothing to do with the subject. I live in Bulgaria not in Moscow. Your history knowledge is zero! You think that the history of Bulgaria started after 1944. Well, to dissapoint you it started more then 1300 years ago and has nothing to do with Moscow or any other country.

  29. avatar
    Inês Beato

    Yes it is. There are many racists but it’s also fault of the EU. We need immigration standards. Too many people go live in places where they can’t even communicate with locals. How is that going to include them in society? Of course it’s not going to work. And then they live apart of everyone else, in their own communities. It’s even worse when their values and way of thinking are different from the locals.
    More restrictions on immigration= better inclusion of accepted immigrants= everyone benefits.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Inês Beato
      Bravo! An erudite circumspection of the negative aspects (there are positive ones BTW) of UNBRIDLED/UNFETTERED/UNFAIR EU immigration policies.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Tarquin there are benefits to immigration, but unbridled immigration I would say is without benefit.

  30. avatar
    Inês Beato

    Ana Gerogieva it’s not the EU that profits from you, it’s multinational companies. If you don’t like it now I sure hope you don’t joint the euro, because it’s going to take all factories and foreign industry away to a cheaper place. It has happened in south europe, industry here got closed to move to east europe and eventually it will happen to your country and they will be moving to another cheap labour place.
    Don’t be ignorant and hate “the west” because “the west” as a whole is made of many countries and some don’t even have a word to say about bulgaria. Blame ruthless capitalism and lobbies instead.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      And multinational companies benefit by having the EU stamp all over worker rights and environmental protection with its zeal to sign the TTIP treaty. Why bother with 28 national governments when now you only have to bribe one group in Brussels?

  31. avatar
    Bastian

    The main problem with “diversity” is that it is forced on us dogmatically by the EU establishment. Only the Swiss being outside the EU regime got a chance to vote on it – they voted for more control of immigration.

  32. avatar
    Kevin

    I don’t know as we in the UK are not European , we are Britons .

    The British have always been very tolerant and welcoming of newcomers ,what we have proved though over the years is we are not too keen on invasions (unless of course were the ones doing the invading) so how tolerant we are of Europeans will I suppose become evident come 22nd May with a rise in the Nationalist vote.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Kevin, you’re so wrong it’s unreal! For a start we are not Britons. Not for about 2000 years and the roman invasion. Secondly the Britons are a Eurasian people. Thirdly Britain is part of Europe (at one time it was landlocked, no channel and no north sea to the east). Then there’s your comment about us liking invasions when we are the ones doing the invading. Based on what evidence? Most wars we’ve been involved in on foreign soil have been because of the powerful wanted it and/or because trade was being threatened. Not because we were bored and thought it’d be fun.

  33. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @DEBATINGEUROPE
    Wow! you’ve managed to associate an extreme RIGHT-WING visage with the EU.

    I have my reservations about the EU, but even I would NOT associate the EU with far-right politics.

    • avatar
      Bastian

      This also caught my eyes but first of all because this “RIGHT-WING visage” is not what represents the right wing parties I know in the EU.
      Members of those parties are culturally rather traditional and put emphasis on etiquette.
      And even if you see pictures of the historical “Nazis” of the Third Reich, no Skinheads there but mostly dress and appearance like still common in business, government and international organisations.

      My assumption: The “extreme RIGHT-WING visage” you and Debating Europe refer to, is simply propaganda but somehow also coherent with todays commercialized culture (pop etc.). It is obviously intended to keep ordinary citizens voting for mainstream parties.

  34. avatar
    Marcel

    When it comes to respect for women, gays and all that I do NOT want any diversity whatsoever. Cultural and religious expressions opposed to equal opportunity should not be tolerated at all.

    I always like to say I am intolerant to intolerance, and it is quite obvious a significant minority of immigrants stand hostile to equal rights for women or gays. Just go look to most countries in Africa how they treat gays or the Middle East how they treat women as inferior. But hey, in the eyes of some of these ivory tower EU-ites this is probably what they meant as ‘diversity’.

    Note I am in favor of equal opportunity, but not for equal outcome if one person does more with opportunity than the other, the government shouldn’t take from those who did and give to those who didn’t.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Your last point suggests everyone has been given the same opportunities. This is very naive. As for your point about how things are done in Africa, what has this got to do with Europe? If people immigrate to Europe from Africa, they are (or are supposed to be) bound by European laws. Suffering punishment for failing to abide by those laws.

  35. avatar
    Marcel

    Speaking of diversity. When I look at Brussels, what I see mostly is a rather concerning lack of respect for diversity of opinion on all things EU.

    In Brussels, most are blindly pro-EU and would probably still be if comrade Barroso was to order their families deported to some European equivalent of Siberia (not that he would, but this is a way to describe the zealousness of many EU-ites).

    Saying that you think the undemocratic EU shouldn’t exist, or that powers should be returned to member states is seen as akin to blasphemy, and the people who say it as cockroaches that need to be squashed quickly. So diversity of thinking on what the EU (if at all) should be is not tolerated in Brussels ‘in-crowd’.

  36. avatar
    Marcel

    The problem with many of these (Swedish) liberals preaching ‘mass tolerance’ and all that is that they all seem so totally naive, ranging from Wallstrom to Malmstrom to whoever it is that debatingeurope here seems to have dregged up. In their eyes it is all ‘our’ fault for not accepting the ‘diversity’ that immigrants bring. Diversity such as parallel justice systems, a culture that doesn’t respect women or gays etcetera.

    Plus, I don’t like to be told who or what I have to respect. I for one refuse to have respect for religion in general a certain abrahamic religion in particular. What has abrahamic monotheism brought us the last 1,500 years but slavery, murder, rape, theft, colonization, war, intolerance, inequality for women, persecution, hatred of gays etc…? I am hard pressed to name a single positive aspect about it.

    But say anything about a certain religion adherents intolerance, and the (Swedish) liberals will name YOU to be the intolerant one.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Yes, because YOU are. Do you think the ten commandments would exist in the bible if rape, theft and murder were not in fact pre existing human attributes? Blaming human behaviours of murder, theft etc. on religions that tell you NOT TO do those things is both idiotic and intolerant, no different in fact to any other form of blindly hating any other group of people based on lies.

  37. avatar
    Jan Karlsson

    Being sceptic to the multicultural experiment Europeans are submitted to isn’t the same as being intolerant.
    Of course we should help people in need, but that isn’t the same as having our borders wide-open. We need to be able to handle the immigration.
    I understand that its hard for Cecilia Wikström and people like her to understand the problems ordinary people struggle with everyday from her/their ivory tower in Brussels.

  38. avatar
    Francisco

    The rise of the right wing/ and left wing as well is due to the incompetence of EU unelected leaders, as well as the incompetence of local governments. Local governments apply EU policies which hurt citizens and take away their earned rights. EU leaders are clueless to the real world. They are overpaid and totally disconnected from its citizens.

    As for “diversity” there is no doubt that it has not been positive for the EU. In some cities in the EU, there have formed ghettos of people that do not want to integrate and demand we accept their lifestyle/religion. If you think immigration is not a problem I invite you to visit cities where locals are being run out because of it. Cities in Spain where immigrant prostitution and drug dealing have become the norm, where it has come to the point that sex is being made in plain view. Where robberies are the norm everyday and nothing is done.

    So get off your high horse and out of your secure neighborhoods and come look at the problems we suffer here.

    Immigration? Yes, but it needs to be controlled. Not only to stop unwanted people from entering, but to also protect the lives of women and children that are being treated as slaves.

    The EU need to change. First we need to directly elect our leaders and elect an European political party, as it is done in the USA. Otherwise the EU needs to end, as it is now it is worthless.

    • avatar
      Kevin

      What Francisco says is the problem the EU faces , Stop freedom of movement

      NOW

  39. avatar
    Ana Georgieva

    Ins Beato, EU and multinational companies, capitalism is one and the same thing. And I do not hate anyone, nor I am ignorant.

  40. avatar
    catherine benning

    Diversity has proved to be a failed and destructive experiment. Imposed on the various cultures of the European people without their knowledge or consent to do so. Not one leader or political party advised the citizens in any state of their intentions to do this or what the objective in so doing was supposed to achieve. We did not receive an explanation of any kind as to why it was felt necessary for our well being or why we should adhere to such policy. Had each state been as fortunate as the Swiss with their opportunity to vote against such a tyranny, by Direct Democracy, this turmoil could never have been imposed on us without our consent and acceptance.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      @Catherine, yes imposing diversity is a bad thing. Equivalent to forcing a child to say sorry when they don’t actually mean it. But I don’t think diversity in and of itself is a bad thing. Cultures constantly evolve, part of the reason for this is when one culture meets another and find things they like. Bet you like carpets right? They weren’t a thing in Britain until the crusades. I guess my point is don’t confuse the EU’s pc attempt to enforce their middle class ideologies on an entire continent with genuine naturally occurring diversity and cultural exchange. One is bad, the other is good.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Well speaking for my country, we’ve never had a freedom of speech. Merely a right to be heard. Sounds like an insignificant difference but it allows other laws such as regards to slander and inciting violence, hatred, treason etc. to not have a legally binding counterargument.

  41. avatar
    Christian Weale

    It’s not a one size fits all debate!
    Censorship is a definite NO!
    Although Hate speech is really a huge problem on unregulated mediums like Social Media, and are a real concern and a real threat to these values! Civil & Human Rights come with Responsibilities!
    If the Rights of others are denied in favour of another then there is a real problem!
    I am a British European by Birth and I worry quite profoundly by how the Civil and Human Rights of many in Britain and around the world are trivialised, for example Welfare Reforms, an increase in hate crimes and legislation that target minority groups including the Muslim communities and the LGBT communities.

  42. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    And whose fault is it, exactly? Who allows the immigrants killings on land and sea borders? By whose orders, are they imprisoned in huge camps of disgrace? Who denies the free access to these poor people in their Promised land? Who supports ethically and economically extremists, like the neonazis in Ukraine, or the islamists in Syria? Who allows the fascists to grow, by imposing austerity policy?
    Europe before you put a limit on the freedom of speech, is better first to put a limit on your actions.

  43. avatar
    Maria Spirova

    Freedom of speech is one of those essential principles of democracy which can be self-defeating and double-edged, as it allows for the complete rejection and denigration of the other principles of democracy. But it is essential – people should have the right to dissent and demand change. Whether or not they get the change is a matter decided by the functioning of other democratic principles. However, the process always starts with free speech. So, I have an intense dislike for far-right discourse and find most of it ignorant, belligerent, frightening and offensive. But it expresses an extant attitude and it will be wrong to ban it. The only rule of thumb to my mind should be whether the speech incites towards violence, disenfranchisement or oppression of others. In such cases – arrest them and sue them with the utmost strictness of the law.

  44. avatar
    elvi

    just because one tolerates some thing or some one. is only a temporary state and soon becomes intolerable

  45. avatar
    Paul X

    And who sets the rules when it comes to freedom of speech?

    You don’t need to go to the extreme of “hate speech” to have you freedom of speech questioned. These day you cant even say you disagree with homosexuality without being labelled homophobic, you can’t say you disagree with immigration without being called xenophobic…it seems just having an opinion on some subjects is enough to get you the wrath of a minority but vocal politically correct establishment

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Surely, you state you are anti immigration (excercising “freedom of speech”). Someone then calls you xenophobic (exercising “freedom of speech). Is this not perfectly proportioned freedom of speech?

  46. avatar
    Giannis Lainas

    You cant persacute someone for his thoughts,thats what i know…actions are illegal,not words

  47. avatar
    Al.

    This is 100% the fault of government(s). Mass immigration from the third world, especially Islamic countries is fundamentally wrong. It goes against the wishes of the current majority (most indigenous) population. Some immigration is ok provided well integrated into European / Western Society however in many regions of Europe the boundary has been dramatically crossed!

    This has nothing to do with the economic crisis however, with respect to Britain; Labour bought in mass immigration that peaked just before the crash, so in this circumstance the heightened tensions came in conjunction with the crash however there have been gradually growing tensions going back decades.

  48. avatar
    Al.

    Essentially a lot of damage is already done, however mass immigration has to stop in order to slow further damage. We need much stricter integration policies, multi-multiculturalism is a failure. You could argue, different nations in Europe have different cultures. I would argue; barely. The only significant difference is language and even then most European languages share a lot of similarities. The issue is of those coming from dramatically different, non western societies and bringing that to the West, it causes fragmentation as well as often lowers standards. Crime inc. murder rates increase, illnesses such as TB become a problem when for decades before didn’t exist in the west, ghettos grow and grow and tensions between different groups continue to grow, especially where religion is concerned. Important to note, there are not just tensions between indigenous and non indigenous people but between all groups of people.

    It is also well known that immigrants, especially from Muslim countries have dramatically more offspring on average than indigenous European people. A cap on the number of children one can have for these groups is difficult to do under a “liberal” “politically correct” government, therefore a two child policy for all people would help reduce the dramatic offset as well as manage our growing population size which is unsustainable. Essentially a 2 child cap on indigenous European people isn’t going to be an issue for most as most have no more than this figure anyway.

  49. avatar
    catherine benning

    As a footnote to this question in the heading of this thread is, I feel diversity is growing less tolerant of Europe. As the mountain of people from world cultures infiltrate the European land mass, so their intolerance of our lifestyle grows. Which is creating unrest throughout the communities of all States. Which will lead to civil war if action isn’t taken to stem such violent intrusion on the host nations.

    However, the politicians responsible for this dramatic and unnecessary change in our society must be brought to trial for lying to the electorate by omission of their aims and hiding what their intentions were and still are. Juncker recently voiced he intended to continue what is already taking place in European policies regardless of the voters making a stand. Him and others of his ilk should face Nuremberg style retribution for acts against the European peoples of social and cultural genocide

    • avatar
      Duncan

      There needed to be a screening and vetting system in place for anyone being admitted. There also needed more ability to monitor people part way through the application process. I think your point of view on this subject matter is on the extremist side, but that doesn’t take away from the fact you are correct that a free for all admission system is a dangerous thing. No way to prevent criminals and terrorists from slipping through too wide a net.

  50. avatar
    Globetrotter

    Europe is an economic and social mess at the moment. Europeans fear the future because they have no confidence in their abilities like americans and indians and chinese do,…and so many others as well….these other countries have rich and poor and good and bad but they are happy and get along fine but Europeans since the end of world war two have had it very “easy” compared to the rest of the world…this “ease” has made them lazy and difficult people….and rather stupid too because they not only fear asylum seekers and refugees but also fear wealthy foreigners looking to invest and bring business to europe. Fact is europeans have survived so far by looting their colonies in the past thats what really made them rich,,,then they fought two wars and ended up in desperation but there was a wave of energy after the world wars to get creative and re build their countries….now they overbuilt and created too many protectionist laws that in turn have made the people stupid, fearful and lazy. Rather than fearing immigrants they should think of how to put the immigrants to good use and integrate them…most of europe is empty masses of land on which new cities can be built…a lot can be done to re start european economies but they all live in fear…and this fear will ruin them not the immigrants actually. Population is also not growing in europe without immigration…they have become too rigid and too cold to have kids now. Also look around lately…europe has become boring and miserable…only desperate immigrants like europe now…i dont know even americans or chinese or indians who want to live in europe…these countries have a better energy and a more positive outlook…whereas europeans just cry and complain and live in fear.

  51. avatar
    someone with clear mind and no fear..

    Well if we say muslims are xxxx and they deserve to die ,tgat its already clear sign of hate and the desire to ill treat a race or group.

    If we expose a real issue backed up by real facts and its obviously explained what and whythings need should be acted this way,its nothate,it even more then free of speach.If for example an original british citizen have fears and issues adressed and advices related to certain groups,adresed in a decent manner ,its even more then free speach,it clear show that your citizen its strongly affected by the situation curently in the country and he should be listened not ignored,insulted or persecuted.

  52. avatar
    Berings Vønne

    I do not and many people I know do not support the far right because of economic trouble, they support it because these poiticians are the only politicians in touch with reality. No one ever signed up to this horrible “diversity” project. These poiticians know that. And they are not using foreigners as scapegoats, these foreigners come to the country and commit crimes and turn nice neighbourhoods into a little piece of somalia. No one wants that. And these politicians know that. And the establishment continues to make bad policies about immigrants and the economy. So we turn to the most honest parties who listen to normal people’s concerns. The economy is only a little part of it. The “its the economy causing these parties to rise and they find scapegoats” is completely untrue. These muslims and immigrants cause problems. The left wing looneys making this statement are lying because they dont care what normal people want, they want to push their agenda, and to do that they must have votes. And normal people can see that the far right wing politicians are the only ones who care, w, its not the recession, intolerance is increasing. Why is intolerance increasing? Because tolerance has a limit, and that tolerance is wearing thin. So before making up reasons for it, think: has/is the political establishment done what the people want or what itself wants? As long as it keeps ignoring these things the far right will win the election. But the political left wing establishment will never do this, and tht is why the far right will win, no matter how good the economy is.

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Yes, because everyone knows far right political parties were abundant across europe through the fifties boom years! . . . . . . . . People will always just see the world how they want to rather than actually seeing the world. I don’t know why I still feel disappointed when it happens.

  53. avatar
    Eric banna

    No not intolerant of diversity,people love diversity ,that is why we travel to other countries and take pleasure in the company of the people and cultures we visit.
    People are becoming very very intolerant of Forced Multiculturalism,mass migration ,seeing their own neighbourhoods,livelyhoods and customs torn apart ,and to have it condoned by those who rule in brussels.

    • avatar
      Kevin

      Eric , well said .

    • avatar
      Duncan

      Nail on the head.

    • avatar
      Angelo Jaegger

      Well said, best comment in here

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