Immigration is one of the most controversial issues in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Political parties campaigning against immigration into the EU (and against migration within the Union) are expected to do well in the vote on 22-25 May.

It’s an issue that can be difficult to approach without rousing emotions. A report commissioned by the French government last year hoping to open a debate around issues of multiculturalism and assimilation caused such an outcry that some accused its publication of being a conspiracy to boost the far-right Front National at the expense of the centre-right.

Another government report, this time by the UK Home Office, was allegedly delayed because it found the impact of immigration was less than the British Home Secretary had been claiming. The report found that, over the long term, there is “no negative impact on wages or employment of native workers” due to migration. However, the study did find that there can be a temporary negative impact during an economic downturn – particularly on lower-skilled sections of the labour force.

Despite the complexity surrounding this issue, it can sometimes be worth asking a straightforward and simple question: Is immigration good or bad for Europe?

In the run-up to the elections, we have been putting questions to the candidates for Commission President and publishing their responses here. We are using the same rules as the Eurovision TV debate on 15 May to decide which candidates take part, meaning they must be nominated by one of the political parties represented in the European Parliament, the party making the nomination must be represented in one of the seven officially recognized political groups in the Parliament and only one presidential candidate can be represented per political group.

We did invite Alexis Tsipras from the Radical Left to take part, but he did not agree to an interview in time.

For our fourth question to the candidates, we asked them whether they thought immigration was good or bad for Europe. It’s a deceptively simple question, but it’s also an issue that a lot of voters worry about. We started with Jean-Claude Juncker, the nominee for the  Centre-Right European People’s Party (you can see his party’s election manifesto priorities here).

Next, we asked Martin Schulz, the official candidate for the  Social Democrats (whose manifesto priorities are available here).

Then, we asked the same question to Ska Keller, one of the two official candidates for the  Greens (along with José Bové) You can see her party’s top priorities here.

Finally, we spoke to Guy Verhofstadt, the candidate for the  Liberal Democrats. You can find the summary of his party’s manifesto priorities here.

Which candidate for European Commission President do YOU want to win? What should the next Commission President do to address concerns about immigration in Europe? And who will YOU be voting for? Make YOUR voice heard now and take part in Debating Europe Vote 2014the first ever pan-European online e-Vote ahead of the European Parliament elections!

Vote 2014

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

100 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Tamás Sófalvi

    It’s not good or bad – as most things of the world. It has various positive and negative impacts on socio-economic systems. The task of a politician “(…) is to foresee the inevitable and to expedite its occurrence” – as Talleyrand said once. As migration is the engine of our history, its really not a good idea to suggest that this is a ‘yes or know’ or ‘black and white’ question. So, please simply don’t do it anymore. Thx.

    • avatar
      George Yianntsiotis

      Exact! and correct/right!!

    • avatar
      carla radaelli

      who started this, prevously, would arrange for “recovery” to be avaliable for all these new “guests” coming. I’m sure it was better, and it still would be, if UE …. ONU, or Emergency were involved in.

    • avatar
      Piotrek Oliński

      “We did invite Alexis Tsipras from the Radical Left to take part, but he did not agree to an interview in time.”

  2. avatar

    Alexis Tsipras did not accept an interview due to two reasons: 1. The fact that he barely knows to use the english language and 2. The fact that maybe his answer to the question is too extreme for the European ears.

    • avatar

      I really don’t like the sound of “he didn’t reply IN TIME”. makes it sound like there’s some foul play here to cut him off from the microphone, ya know?
      Is someone trying to censor the radical left because they are too dangerous to the interests of powerful people?

    • avatar

      I don’t think that using his native language (subtitled) would be a problem.

    • avatar
      carla radaelli

      No need to go to extremes anymore. Words included. We already have M5S…. I wonder why destroying ones are always preferred to wise men. ….Easier maybe…. definitely simpler than working for good.

  3. avatar

    It depends on many things including:
    1. What percentage of the country is already foreign born?
    2. What is the attitude of the population to immigrants?
    3. Do citizens feel that their country is becoming overcrowded?
    4. Are there jobs available for incomers and do they have suitable qualifications?
    The EU needs to take account of these things because the original aim of complete freedom of movement is running into trouble

  4. avatar
    Nadezhda Ogden

    Immigration could be ‘good’ if it is managed, I.e. Stop abuse of resources and exploited labour, emphasize on productive integration which means that immigrants are expected yo adapt to local way of life as much as possible and make a positive contribution! On the other hand its ‘bad’ if generates hate, tensions and embeds inequalities.

  5. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Once again, another problem/issue treated in isolation leading to erroneous hypothesis and non-solutions.
    Immigration is not a simple isolated problem. Immigration is, not necessarily in this order:
    1 – a corrupt and lucrative business in the countries of origin where the EU has leverage and influence,
    2 – it is foreign people looking for a better living than they can get in their countries where EU enterprises have for long exploited their people,
    3 – it is exploitative EU companies trying to obtain cheap labor disregarding the EU people who were here when they built their companies in the first place, and are still here ready and willing to continue contributing,
    4 – it is new foreign blood bringing new skills and knowledge to enrich and reinvent the EU,
    5 – it is foreign people displacing existing laborers from their jobs mostly because of the cheap labor issue as in 3) above,
    6 – the rest of the list of things that immigration also is, like all the xenophobia that has no place of the EU in the XXI century.
    So, which is it that the politicians are talking about and which are they willing to tackle and solve?
    I would start with the big xenophobia problem caused by poor citizenship education in the EU, often exploited by politicians to serve their own agendas.
    Then I would tackle number 1) above.
    And then I would move into the root causes of number 2) above and then solve number 3). Or maybe 2) and then 1) and then 3).
    Only then I would look into the other areas.

  6. avatar
    Nic Benbow

    Racial inequality will be nothing compared to the ageing population crisis we face, which is why immigration is essential in the UK. It’s either that or lose all the public services we love including the NHS, and go back to pre-war conditions. Imagine how unequal society would be then!

    • avatar

      You sir are deluded,so let me get this straight,you want to import more people onto an overcrowded island which will inevitably lead to more old people which leads to more immigration which leads to more old people which leads ……………do you actually know the area covered by the UK mainland,the ACTUAL population and how many more can be taken in..the last time I looked we didn’t have rows of empty houses,wards full of empty beds and schools full of empty classrooms……Oh yes and how about massively overpriced housing stock due to a surplus of people.As somebody once said…we ain’t making any more Land.

  7. avatar
    Kim Jacobsen

    To be honest Ska Keller came off as very nave; I do understand the need for her to put a positive spin on immigration, seeing how she is representing the greens. However all one needs is to use google and there would be plenty of academic papers on the topic of immigration from outside of Europe towards countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France and Germany and the numbers speak for themselves, immigration ends up being a loss for the countries mentioned. Not an economic benefit.

    I honestly see very few benefits for the people of Europe when it comes to large scale immigration from outside of Europe. I do however see plenty of problems associated with it.

    • avatar

      Canada is probably the best option there, Australia is alright but NO way should it be managed like like Sweden’s.

      Sweden takes in too many immigrants/refugees for it to manage. the employment rate for foreign-born citizens and native born with foreign-born parents is far below that of the native born with native born parents. One could even conclude that it’s race based as those from sub-Saharan Africa have the lowest employment rates( below 50% )followed by those from the middle east and then other European countries (which is almost the same as the native-born).

      Also a pattern of segregated neighbourhoods has occurred in the larger cities. Where 90% of the residents in certain neighbourhoods are immigrants e.g Rinkeby, with increasing inequality and xenophobia/racism in Sweden. It’s probably the worse model to try and implement.

  8. avatar

    Is immigration good or bad for Europe?

    Tricky… Some right wing politicians don’t make any difference between Free Movement of citizens inside EU space and Northern Africa/Asian economic asylum seekers, in purpose. ( Y’all are the same, Y’all stink ! ) Controlled immigration in the other hand is logical and natural, there is nothing wrong with it.

  9. avatar
    Cem Yeniasır

    Here we face a major psychosocial paradox: I do want capitalism, but I do not want immigration

    • avatar

      So you want to exploit others, but you don’t want them to escape the exploitation zones.
      Please call it as it is , COLONIALISM.

      If you don’t want immigration then please take your FOREIGN businesses OUT of my country too. This works both ways buddy!

    • avatar

      What exactly is the paradox? Capitalism speaks about skilled workforce migration, which already happens within the EU. Immigration can help fill in missing workforce but here we talk about legal and controlled migration. The cases that spark the debate are about illegal immigration which (international law aside) pose different problems

  10. avatar
    Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    Immigration is a natural process, an instinctive human desire to live & work where they want to, or prefer to, for a better life for themselves & their families. The moment the word “control” is used you know someone’s pandering to “populist” ignorance & xenophobia. This man does not have my support. This attitude does not represent the kind of Europe I want to live in.

    • avatar

      I take it you have a dozen immigrants housed in your own home, right?

  11. avatar

    “Is immigration good or bad for Europe?”
    Irrelevant. I have written a lengthy response explaining why this is irrelevant but i deleted it in the form of a simpler one.

    This economic system we live in will INNEVITABLY make some people poor and rich. As a result the poor will always want to move to the “rich areas”.
    It happens between countries, between cities and even buildings.

    Until we get rid of that, this whole “debate” will keep raging.
    I can’t objectively give a reply without taking sides. If i had to, i would side with the pro-immigration Keller.

    I still hope Alexis will honor us at least in ONE such interview. It’s hard to connect to someone if you don’t show up for the interview.
    Again, maybe i am paranoid, but i am not buying the argument “he did not agree IN TIME”. Sounds to me like someone is trying to keep him out.
    I wonder what his reply to the question would be.

    Being a leftist myself i have to wonder, why won’t he release a statement separately voicing his answer if he couldn’t make it?
    Very strange…

  12. avatar
    Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    Ska Keller’s response is the only honest one. The rest is half-baked & calculated. Human beings are not “illegal”. Where we are born should not determine whether we can fulfill our aspirations. Immigration, immigrants, migrants, all make for a richer, more vibrant society.

  13. avatar
    Vincenzo Zaccaria

    potete tradurre i le risposte in italiano? graziee

  14. avatar
    Sunny Sunce

    What a simpleton, characteristic for manipulators! We are not stupid Schultz! You are not able to solve any problem! You do not want to solve problems, you do not care for solving problems, you are cheap commy populist!

  15. avatar
    Maria Amélia Rodrigues Cabaça

    bom se for voluntariamente,porque se quer, e no por no haver trabalho e condies para viver dignamente nos pases de origem. Como acontece agora em Portugal e noutros pases dentro e fora da Europa.

  16. avatar
    Samuel Tandorf

    How far will this go? So political parties are now campaigning against migration within the Union!? Who in the World would vote for these parties!? Those parties would not be letting you move from let’s say Lyon to Paris anymore?

  17. avatar
    Victor S. Popaliciu

    emigration is good but ilegal emigration is destructive. All ilegal emigrants from outsaide European Union must go back home and follow a legal course of emigration.alaso all emigrants must pass a democracy test and they have to knoe what democracy is and how to respect the human rights and the laws. Many come in European Union but they want to bring the feudalism from their conuties wich is ilogical and does not respect the human rights. All the South of Europe -Spain,Italy,France if full of ilegal emigrants who bring their feudal habits with them-drugs traffiking,human traffiking,organised crime and so on. Everybody seems to hurry to deport the gypsies-roma population with are European Union citizens and we should help them to get an eduction and to learn and obtain a working qualification but no one is ready to send back all the ilegal emigrants from outsaide European Union?why? Where is the justice?

  18. avatar
    Emil Barjami

    Mr.President. We need more than ever a common emigration policy based on solidarity and integration, fighting illegal trafficking not only in Europe but in the countries of origin as well.

  19. avatar
    Lee Tong

    Muslim imgrants think Democracy is Anarchy they should not be lt inside Eruope.

  20. avatar
    catherine benning

    They are all denying the truth, each one of them, they know immigration is desperately wanted by corporations to reduce the salary’s of the indigenous.

    The Green should get her facts right. Immigration has not enhanced the European lifestyle and she knows it. It has been an expensive, as well as cultural, disaster for us all.

    And please tell us all why European people should put up with a mass influx of people who rely on their generosity when they themselves are impoverished? Would little Miss Green like to expand on the benefits of immigration she is so filled with?. Is she willing to give up her job and standard of living to support those who will be an endless imposition on our lives with an unclosed door? If her loyalty is to those who are not the electorate of this continent but to those from outside it, the best way for her to fulfill her inner need to put the world right is to emigrate to the countries she has so much empathy toward and work there to insure they don’t have to leave their homeland at great cost to their emotional well being.

    Tell me why politicians feel we wanted to change ‘our’ society to the extent they have forced on us? Have they asked us about this issue? Given us a referendum on it the way the Swiss have had? Yet they still ask us to vote for them to be paid by us to destroy our way of life. The absolute audacity they have takes the cake.

    Multiculturalism is a phenomenon that does not work.

    • avatar

      Typical rhetoric from the Right.
      Immigration from WITHIN Europe is something you take with the EU membership, if you don’t like it, you and your smug UK could go to hell for all i care.
      You can’t go and TAKE resources and EXPLOIT people but at the same time DENY those people the freedom to come to the areas that benefit from that system?

      Freedom of movement ( migrants ) comes BEFORE freedom of capital. And without freedom of movement, you shouldn’t get freedom of capital.

      We’ll see how well your country would do.
      As for the swiss they will pay dearly their xenophobic “vote”. Hope the EU puts some restrictions in place to bleed that corrupt nation for every penny they have.
      All they did was profit out of every crisis in Europe ever since( and including ) WW2.

    • avatar

      Well said Catherine!
      Europe is an old and in its relevant parts densly populated continent. It is not the empty US or Australia, rather compareable with Japan and India.
      Immigration of the style our rulers force on us can be seen as a hostile act against Europe’s indiginous people.

    • avatar

      Catherine Benning’s line of reasoning is the most balanced one here! Trying to protect one’s country’s identity, dignity, its common welfare earned over generations is not radical nor xenophobic! Just common sense & necessary for self preservation.

      Generally, create jobs for the youth in the EU & do not export production to countries circumventing local norms & paying slave wages to boost profits & CEO’s earnings! Deranged policies are forcing the young & educated ones to leave the EU- in turn the EU supports a swap with strange & lesser skilled ones!

    • avatar

      Crayven ,you are really taking the mickey aren’t you,mass immigration is something that has been IMPOSED on the UK ,we ,the population didn’t ask for it,in fact we weren’t consulted about it,and as for seeing how long we would survive outside the EU,I and others are quite prepared to go it alone and guess what Dude,we will continue to prosper as we have for hundreds of years,the EU is purely and simply not needed ,it is a dinosaur and should be forced into extinction as soon as possible.

  21. avatar
    Chris Tough

    I have been part of a CEP conferences involving 7 cities from 7 Eu countries with venues in 4 of the cities.
    This was to understand why there is migration, which is really the question. It was identified
    the new freedom and ease of travel allows people to investigate new opportunities which are not availble in the cities one migrates from.
    I recently returned from Kaunus (Lithuania), one migrates to enable affordability of accommodation of one’s family to stay in tbeir community. The culture is changing due to affordability. Educated bi/tri lingual indivduals work in other countries to enable sending money back to family to have a better standard of life and to support any children left behind with grandparents to enable a good education.
    The price, a broken home and a new working tourist! !

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ crayven:

      To put you straight with regard to my political stance being either ‘left’ or ‘right.’ Economically, and as a European group member, I am so far to the left I will vote for Alexis Tsipris with a strong heart if I have half a chance. However, that does not blind me to the irrational disregard of our collective social obligation toward our European culture and preferences, which you refer to as the ‘right’ as if that is something we don’t have a legal right to or should be ashamed of. Because I’m an economic socialist does not make me a lost soul multiculturalist. You have got yourself into an emotional tailspin where rationality, and the effects of what you support, has left your logic severed from reason. And further, you and people like you have no mandate from the people of Europe to impose what you perceive as ‘good’ and ‘right’ on the majority of our community who do not feel they want to live in your strange nirvana of ill thought out ‘good’ or ‘right’ vision. You have a choice, you want to live the lifestyle of societies from outside of Europe, because to you Europe and its traditions are repulsive, to the point where you want to import alternative cultures here, then rather than impose your wishes on us against our will, emigrate to those countries and feast on the exotic experience of your choice. Just don’t push your fetish down the rest of our throats with impunity and deride us and abuse us for rejecting your preference to choose a community of people who enjoy our own history and way of life for our future and raising of our children in that tradition. What we have and don’t want to change you seek to destroy and expect us to lay down and let you do it without one word being spoken against you. That is a delusional concept which borders on insanity.

    • avatar

      Very nice.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      The expansion of Europe is another odd side line of our European politicians, not at all what we all signed up for in the original treaty. How has it spread to wanting to engulf places like Turkey and the apartheid joke country in the very midst of the Middle East called Israel. Countries that have little social and cultural connection to the core of that basic catalyst of European unity formed after WWII?

      Any future expansionism should be addressed to the people of Europe by a referendum before any further absorbtion takes place. The wishes of the US has nothing at all to do with us as a people and it is their government that insists on our enveloping these countries that are not in our interests to embrace. They want them to expand their war machine and bases. Why doesn’t the US envelope and embrace as part of its own States, Israel and Turkey, as well as any other ill thought out land grab it has an eye to. When they lent us their cash at huge interest rates to fight WWII they did not buy us lock stock and barrel as they believe they did, so they should have absolutely no input in what we feel is the best way forward for us as a people. We do not vote in the US elections and could not do so even if it was open to us, as they are a one party country hiding under the name of democracy. All you can vote for in that country is rampant economic right and further right. There is no alternative true left and they have no legal obligation to any of us here. So, they are a danger to our way of life and culture and should not be included in our decision making objectives on any level.

      No further expansion of Europe without first consulting the European people.

    • avatar

      The theory is nice, however the policies of the EU seem to stray more and more often from the needs and the wants of the people living here.
      Immigration is a reality, but the legal kind. Work & residence permits are issued to migrants that choose the legal way of building a life here. Students come from all over the world. I’m ok with that.

      But the sheer volume of illegal immigration needs to be tackled somehow.

  22. avatar
    Kim Jacobsen

    What a ridicules notion, if immigration from outside Europe is detrimental for us native Europeans it is only right and just to take steps to correct it. And the idea that the rights of immigrants to move to Europe somehow supersede the desires of the natives and the right of states to determine who enters its territory is just utterly inane.

    Ska Kelle represents idealism and has a very unrealistic point of view with very little basis in established data about immigration.

  23. avatar

    Illegal immigration into the EU is a complete disaster!
    It needs to be stopped at all costs! Today if possible.

    Migration from within the union is a good thing. We work better together, it has has had many advantages.

    • avatar

      As i said before if we don’t make a CLEAR difference between IN EU migration and OUT OF EU migration, Right wing nuts like Nigel Farage and his kind will be quick to lump EVERYONE in the same pot.
      We’ve given too much power to racist xenophobes already !

  24. avatar
    catherine benning

    Again at Crayven:

    You are right about Farage and his cronies. However, they only want to end immigration into the UK from the EU not from outside of it. Although they are pretending they will control all immigration if elected. They want escape from the EU because they have to adhere to the law of ECHR and they want to be able to abuse their workers, so being part of the union doesn’t suit them. They want the freedom of abuse allowed and exploited in the USA against their work force.

    They want immigration to continue from the old commonwealth, super cheap labour from the old colonial past. They want to remove death duties on the rich, enhance the tax right offs for the ultra wealthy, expand the unelected House of Lords and generally turn the British people into human robots with no rights to recourse. Farage is funded by those who sit in our House of Lords, Lord Ashcroft, the same Lords who receive £300.00 per day just to show up and clock in then get an additional £140K per annum for expenses to do so. Which is how they can afford to fund him and is lying propaganda.

    And as a PS, I am not against inter state migration within Europe. That is not immigration that is the movement of peoples within one union. Its the same concept as the Irish or the Scots moving to England to work and live. They do not immigrate so they are not immigrants, they are one people moving within their land mass to benefit all states and their own lifestyle needs. As long as that is done within a legal framework of same rate of basic pay, welfare facilities and expectation in each and every state, then it is of course to the good of us all. All rights both in law and expectation must be adhered to on the same level across all states equally to make the load bearing equal and fair.

    And do a UKIP manifesto survey. Read between the lines, it’s for a work force with no rights of appeal. Just like we already have, taking place right now, which goes against the HR of the British people. Zero hour contracts as one example. And the state refuses to pay their legal benefits if they refuse these jobs. Why is this legal when it is obvious they are a scam.

    And Buckingham Palace, the Queen, has now taken up this way of employing their staff.

    • avatar

      Then you clearly missed my point as all my rants have been clearly referring to the intentional conflation of EU migrants with non-EU migrants to try and demonize the former group.
      This is why is said a clear distinction must be made.

      And no i don’t “hate European culture” – that was quite dumb of you to say such a thing considering i have been “pro Europe” in every way in my comments.
      To summarize:
      NON-EU immigrants should be limited ( Including your “precious” Commonwealth ).
      EU immigrants should not. ( and yes i agree it should not be called “immigration” but “free movement” but the Right is busy at switching definitions to make people believe their are the same ).

      This is the basis of a STRONG Europe.

      You are preaching to the choir about UKIP. I have been screaming for years they are bunch of English Tea party who want to cuddle with the rich more and dupe the working people.
      Sadly Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda machine is much more effective than a handful of critics like us.
      Either that or the internet is a lens for idiots. Although judging by the UK’s rabid anti-EU rhetoric i don’t think these people are in the minority.
      The irony is we are struggling to tell people they chant for their own enslavement.

      Zero Hour Contracts are a few notches above slavery if you ask me. How is this accepted over there is amazing…

  25. avatar

    You asked, if immigration is bad or good for europe. Really? I had to reread the question – but the candidates Juncker, Schulz, Keller and Verhofstadt just answered this question, sole exception Tsipras. Honestly I am really interested in Tsipras‘ opinion. Is not least Greece a country in addition to Spain and Italy, that has real problems by the high number of immigrants – and with problems I do not mean that immigration has to be stopped. Not at all. These countries need our support and help to handle anything – reception centres are crowded, you cannot talk about hygiene. Helping hands are missing!

    But I am also bothered with the question itself: she pretends to have the possibility fort wo answers: good or bad. Something in between is not allowed. Furthermore the question is simple barefaced. Immigrants – that are human beings, nothing less than human beings. The question, as asked here, means to me: „Are human beings bad or good for Europe?“

    Above all, the question isn’t only aimed at immigrants from non-EU-states into the EU, it is also aimed at migration in the EU. To get back to my example Greece: the country has to fight on both sides. With an unemployment of young people about 60 percent, it is comprehensively, that young people are looking somewhere else for their luck and future. Lastly, the problems stay by Greece and its companions – they are unable to cope on the one hand with the high number of immigrants and on the other hand with the so called ‚brain drain‘.
    However – Europe, that does mean all of us, doesn’t it?

    ‘No one is illegall’

    People who have to leave their country, mostly do not have another option. They are looking for protection, help, something to eat and drink, they escape violence and war. All over the world there are 45 millions people, who are on the run or in a similar situation. 45 millions! More than 400000 put an application for asylum in the EU. But this number only shows, how less people arrived in the EU. Especially at the EU-external-borders coast guard ply their dirty trades. Without asking for the reasons to be on run, they deport refugees. This is against nation law, this is inhuman, this is beyond anything I could have imagined! One reason fort hat cruel behavior is the so called Dublin-regulation: it says, which country must examine an application for asylum – the one, in which the asylum-seekers arrived first. That is the reasons, why it is for countries like Greece, Spain, Italy economically unattractive to support and help refugees. Economy before solidarity?

    I require a new settlement of this system, a just distribution of the charges. I require humanity and solidarity in all countries of the European Union. Or, how would you like to be hosted in another country? After all that do we seriously ask for good or bad immigration?

    • avatar

      We don’t want them here. Period. Immigration should be zero, particularly where it concerns uneducated future welfare scrounger wannabes. Those who advocate more immigration should all be forced to house 10 random immigrants in their own house for a year or so. But you don’t see too many of the pro-immigration crowd line up for that, do you? No, because most of those live in all-white neighbourhoods where they know most of these immigrants will never be seen. They want to dump them all in neighbourhoods such as where I live.

  26. avatar
    John Bevegård

    hi immigration is often goodd we need more people to work but create new working permits forrhigh skilled workers in science tech etc likee the usa has green cards. the eu needs a blue eu card for peoplee who want to work here…but we cant take in to much people from other countries its better to help them in their own countries with aidee and create democracy in other poor war strickenede countrires. but we need the young work force more children to work in eeu we can be a strong eu in the world go eu johnnyb.

    • avatar
      Chris Tough

      Well John, your right on the money here…with society changing with the right of free movement which moves towards a better democracy and not every one is an academic so it immigration is essential to apprecate culture then return with the new found knowledge…give all those individuals thinking of going home an incentive with support from local chamber of commerce professionals.
      I’m with you John

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @John Bevegard

      In any city or town in the USA you can buy a green card for a couple of hundred dollars. And the fed does nothing about it and does not intend to. They live on immigrant cheap labour and want it to stay that way otherwise it would be stopped overnight. The US was founded on slavery. Do some research before making silly statements.

  27. avatar

    How will you counteract the uprising nationalistic atmosphere?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      By introducing a green card system and better controlling borders between countries in Europe.

  28. avatar

    immigration can be good or bad, depending on the perspective

  29. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Catherine ‘FAUX Brit’ Benning
    Yes the USA was founded on slavery – much to its eternal shame BUT please don’t forget that because of open EU borders SLAVERY has massively increased in the UK!

    • avatar

      That’s because their is a market for cheap labour for employers make bigger profit or underground labour force, educate tbe employer and the buyer that we are all part of the same community and have moral values..being better policed..then and only then we will be able to live in harmony…..
      I’m a slave getting £240/year for expenses no salary as a cllr!!

  30. avatar

    Immigration must remain a “national” not an EU decision- free of threats, penalties or sanctions by the EU- whatever the outcome!

  31. avatar

    oh yeah now immigration is a big debate for Europe!! how come? simply because who started the war in those countries left nothing but disasters This question should be discussed prior the next decision to bombing others territories. How come instead of bringing the war to the poor world don’t we bring our infrastructures our technology, our modernization and teach those people how to evolve and work in their countries ? this should be the question to debate on this new world !!

    • avatar

      @ Nello

      Immigration “is” the theme here and only one of many aspects aspiring politician’s attitudes need to be tested! Lots of investments, aid, grants & goodwill are already poured into the 3rd world with varying success. Evolution is a process and not taught anywhere!

  32. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    change at politics the emigration inside of espace the Europe

    • avatar

      ok than if immigration is the theme here i don’t want to see any more immigrants dying into my sea or womens giving birth on a boat asking for political asylum when we all know the problem is a lot different. i think that while we are still debating whether the immigration is good or bad for Europe at the same time we are invaded by all kind od peoples bad or good (there is no control) i think that my country Sicily as well as the south of Italy will be swallowed up by hatred of the different kind of people who no longer has anything to lose, other than becoming part of the new Europe.Another thing to me Evolution is a process with a lots of taught in between ages.

  33. avatar

    Agreed, the dilemma of the EU “outer border controls” like e.g. around Lampedusa should be resolved by a common EU effort & not left for a small village or Italy alone to manage! It is an absurd demand from far removed EU Commissioners!

    Quote: “EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom said “We have already started investigations on the deplorable conditions in many Italian detention centers, including Lampedusa, and we will not hesitate to launch an infringement procedure to make sure EU standards and obligations are fully respected,” she said in a statement” …..Was that all the EU could offer? Any assistance received?

    That highlights EU Commissioners arrogance, inefficiency and unpreparedness to assist practically. Instead, all they do is issue demands & threats! And “they” want to extent the EU borders further & further with the push of a button from their offices in Brussels! That’s crazy! One does not want such an EU!

    NATO plays war games on the border of Russia while the EU borders in the south must be protected by village folks! That is EU madness!

    Please pose this very serious question to these 4 candidates!

    • avatar

      i agreed 100% on what you are saying and you know what? EU Commissioners did not hesitate to reply on detention center in Italy and guest what happened here: we have imposed a fine to be paid just because our prisons are not large enough to accommodate 3 or 4 prisoners. Wait a minute!! But the pressing issue was not addressed in the beginning to illegal immigrants and refugees who landed on our shores every day and consequently on the European coasts?, because this is going to happen in the very near future. Probably only then these EU Commissioners will open their eyes and do something about it.
      My personal tought is that we are only part of EU because of monetary economy plans leaded by the market and with debts that my generation never had but are to be paid from. The only way this EU Community will survive is by creating the U.S:E. (United States of Europe) with central government rules for All. And i really don’t care if the White House will be Berlin or Paris just to name a few .

  34. avatar

    I know how to cure EU, “Ban all products from China/India etc…” and only allow products “made in EU” this will boost European Market and Economy 1000%. And do not allow for “Foreign Temp Workers” to work below national average wages.

    Now you can buy products cheaper from EU than China/India but you can imagine if 90% of products will come from EU countries not from China/India it will promote local markets and opening of a new factories in EU.

    Immigration is always bad when not managed properly, and EU should only focus on highly skilled immigrants, we have so much poverty and unemployment in EU, that we should STOP a whole immigration from poor countries for at least 10 years.


    • avatar

      right on Patrick i am with you!!!!

    • avatar
      carla radaelli

      I guess u’r not from China/India. Or Africa, or poor. …But highly skilled. What about all that human “stuff” not as lucky as u??…a big fire???

    • avatar


      First of all fix EU and then help the others we have too much poverty and hungry kids in EU these days. Look what is happening in UK, most of the immigrants are the abusers of the system, “not everyone, but too many…” So I think until our economy is back on track all of that humanitarian stuff should be paused at least for a while.

  35. avatar


    grazie per il tuo contributo- but please don’t test my Italian any further!

    Any immigration policy interfering negatively with the local population- labeling its critics as xenophobic, uncaring or as leftist as a defense- is rejected & needs correction! The present democratic process is too cumbersome & time consuming & needs urgent reform!

    As illustrated- addressing most pressing issues effectively- always boils down to have the EU structure-“restructured”! Folks are just dissatisfied! Arrogant & self-serving politicians are the biggest hindrance to be heard!

    Such “reformist parties” do not dominantly exist in member states and such idea is therefore difficult to transplant into the EU parliament! One would have to vote for a local party first who follows more or less such idea and than hope for the best to be represented in the EU parliament.

    The closest to accommodate an alternative EU idea at this moment is for all fringe parties to consolidate & form partnerships with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Party who have 56 members. There are however still some disagreements & egos to overcome! Unity would be strength! Reform is essential. Check them out:

    • avatar

      Prego non c’e’ di che, non mi dilunghero’ in Italiano as you ask,
      but what do you think of having the EU structure- restructured by these 7 rules to beginning urgent riforms?: 1) abolish the fiscal compact, 2) Adoption of Eurobonds, 3) an alliance between the Mediterranean countries for a common politely life without the need to for peoples to migrate elsewherei. 4) investments in innovation and new productive activities excluded from the limit of 3% per annum budget deficit. 5) funding for agricultural and livestock activities aimed at domestic internal consumption. 6) abolition of a balanced budget,7) referendum to stay in EURO am I democratic enough?

  36. avatar

    to be clear i have nothing against peoples of China and India we are talking about economy and politicial matters and by the way what you have to say about all the fake product especially Dangerous toys for kids that are shipped all over Italy without control? or about all the Chinese peoples that open up a business in our country (Milano is a full city) without paying taxes and without releasing money receipts of any kind for the merchandise they sell? Now you try to open up a business in Milano near by these peoples and see what happen!!!! do i need to continue????? i hope i am clear!!!!!

    • avatar

      Good point Nello!

      We should have a regulations about pricing too… Not managed immigration is like opening a WallMart, it kills all the businesses around and many people loose jobs.
      Then WallMart or other cheap chains are happy to have slaves working for them.

      And why we have lower salaries …? Because someone from other country than EU will work for low wages “is that what you want CARLA??”

      Every year is harder to find a decent job and it was better between 1990-2000, you know why? Less immigrants, of course we can’t blame immigration only but this is a big factor – please check the stats … Also the other problem are politicians, thinking just how to fill own pockets.

  37. avatar

    Patrick you see the starting debate was all about this: Is Immigration good or bad for Europe? and look where we are at in a few discussions between us.This tells you that the debate about immigration cannot be discerned from: in what kind of Europe we live in? i mean we are in 2014 and these problems are not new to me since my older generations tells me they had to face same immigrations problems years and years ago right after the first war world. this is telling me that peoples at any government should have learned the lesson by now and consequentely they should act in different and better way.not the same old way!! also as you say politicians have only one job to do fill their own pockets especially here in Italy they are so good at that politicians that were find guilthy of stealing money in the past are the same person that today are doing the same and to be specific see the EXPO case just exploded two or three days ago. Seems like corruption is the leading way by politicians!! so what are we talking about? how can these peoples think of resolving problems any kind of problems for a better and prosperous Europe? to make the story short i like the idea of EUROPE but there is a long way to go and we are tired of waiting and voting !!!!! ciao Patrick!!!!

  38. avatar

    @ Nello- molte grazie
    Lets me put it this way:

    Any men made asset or structure on this earth would need regular maintenance! That is why the “EU democratic structure in its totality” is in need for a long overdue “major service”!

    The many valid points highlighted by you, Patrick, Carla, Catherine Benning, all others & me are too varied! To achieve our individual aspirations is not easy and needs tolerance & compromises’! The originators of this page designed & aimed to restrict us to only give us an opportunity to question the 4 candidates on immigration!

    Today, there are too many professional politicians around- most are however lacking a “dimension”. I see the above 4 candidates only as“4 clever salesmen” to sell & market their party’s manifesto & their own personal ambitions! They are elevated to a responsibility & importance they might not meet or not deserve!

    I try to avoid natty gritty details but would like to see a major EU rethink & restructuring! Please rather go to the page called “TOP PRIORITIES”- A presto!

    • avatar

      thanks and please forgive my passion on this debate (but i went into the “TOP PRIORITIES” and i must admit i like your points of view there better than here.!!hahaha!!!! but please just tell me this: aren’t you afraid to waste your vote?

  39. avatar

    This is a very broad question and it is difficult to provide a precise answer. There is advantages and disadvantages of the migration that may impact the social-economical condition of EU. I think, countries that have most appropriate laws-regulations with respect to the migration can manage the flow of migration and skilfully extract the benefits out of it. However, I think migration will no longer be so vital problem in EU, due to the attractive and rapid economic growth of Middle East, Asia and Russia.

    • avatar

      you are right on countries that have most appropriate laws-regulations, but countries that don’t have a clu of law-regulations should be controlled by who?
      and this is what is happening rigth now !!! wait until the majority of peoples lives Libia, Iraq,Iran,Sudan,and so on i doubt about these populations having the right skills of any kind of professionalism to be attractive anywhere they are just
      looking to escape from poverty putting their lifes to estreme risk .

  40. avatar

    Immigration are good, but need to be more selective for those migrants. people who do immigrants need to be contribute to the country they live on. not only benefit for themselves but also for the destination country !

  41. avatar

    I think that is good to have immigrants coming in as a) everything would be much more expensive as people are not willing to work for the prices immigrants are earning, meaning that the market price for food, ect, would go up. Also how would he stop the immigrants coming in, by shooting them? A solution would be for the EN to and to spread the immigrants across Europe so that countries like Italy, which is the easiest to reach from Africa and who is in a bad crisis wouldn’t need to deal with it all. I understand that culture is ruined in small countries but it is better than making everything more expensive and making these poor immigrant’s lives miserable. Remember, they come over because they have no other choice.

  42. avatar

    I agree that migration has many good points but it must be under control both for EU citizens’ and migrants’ safety and welfare.

  43. avatar

    Immigration is not the problem , the number of immigrants and the lack of integration is

  44. avatar

    i think its kewl to let them into our borders… seriously guys have some mercy would ya’ll

  45. avatar
    Philip Morgan

    Hi. This isn’t really a “debate” though is it?! A debate consists of conversation. The videos are just interviews. I’d be more impressed if the ‘candidates’ were to argue it out with bloggers on here, or don’t they have the time? Thanks.

  46. avatar
    Abdirashid Awil

    I beleive there is not a good imigration in the world

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