Migration is a complex issue. Often, when we talk about migration, nuances are put to one side; no distinction is made between internal migration within the European Union (from Poland or Romania to Britain or France, for example), immigration into the European Union from outside, temporary migration, legal migration, illegal migration, asylum seekers and refugees, and so on.
It’s difficult to know what to think. It doesn’t help that there are politicians who clearly want to exploit public fears and prejudices over migration. How can we know what to believe? Some simplification of the issues are perhaps inevitable, in order to make the topic accessible in the first place. So, let’s start from first principles: overall, do we benefit from migration to Europe?
What do our readers think? We had a comment from Ironworker who says he’s confused by the debate over immigration. How should we think about migration?
Is migration good or bad for Europe? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!
Migration is there. We don’t question whether the sun comes up every morning and goes down again at night. I think the problem with the debate around migration is that we’re not recognising it’s there and it’s simply there to stay. The policies that the European Member States put forward try to actually stop people coming to Europe, but they will not succeed in that and therefore we’re not dealing with it in a rational way. I don’t think we need to look at this in terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but rather [recognise] that it’s there, and therefore we’d better facilitate it in order to make sure that people do not drown, and make things worse.
What Europe is today is built on the old traditions of European peoples, values, humanities, and other pillars of our history. So, we need something to serve that. That doesn’t mean that migration as such is a bad thing, but it depends on which cultural background, religion, and so on that the migrants are coming with, and whether they can adapt into our way of life in Europe.