Tag Archives: EU migrants

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

Anti-European movements seem to be enjoying a fair wind, not only in Great Britain but also here on our side of the Channel. This demonstrates how Euroskepticism has become a threat to the fundamental values of the common European life.

Although the EU considers itself a unity, it is unable to introduce a united policy. In the absence of such policy, it is impossible to overcome the growing economical and social inequalities between the citizens of the Member States.

The European Economic Community, founded 60 years ago, was meant to maintain and guarantee peace. More than ever nowadays, in an unsafe world where hundreds of thousands are fleeing the horrors of war, we should embrace and take care of this precious gift of peace. Though many people today are willing to step out of the union, this is not the moment. It would be reckless to put all of it on the line.

People may not forget that we have already so many years of no war experience. In our regions the EU also managed to protect democracy: the freedom of press, freedom of speech and a free choice of religion (those being just a fraction of the inviolable rights Europeans enjoy).

All Member States of the EU have to ensure democratic guidelines, and countries aiming to join the EU cannot hinder reform processes. This contributes to the broadening of democratic values.

Two essential aspects of the European Union are the free movement of persons and a single currency. Admittedly, they Euro Series Banknotes.pngare not perfectly elaborated; the Euro being the most commonly criticised aspect. However, in the Euro Zone, currency exchange disappeared along with the attached fees. We can cross the borders of all EU countries without passport control or visa requirements. It is really a pity that the last few months we saw the Schengen Agreement undermined. That agreement is the seal of proof for our ‘Union’, which assured a free movement concept within the internal borders, not only contributing to the economical dynamism but also to an inter-cultural exchange and thus to peace and understanding between different cultures.

No border control: Border crossing between two Schengen Agreement states, view from Germany to the Netherlands. The Netherlands begins at the red line added to the photo.

The ex-communist countries by putting up walls are forgetting what it meant to be inclosed and are taking on a very selfish attitude. Free movement across our internal border-states is necessary, but also an allowance for people and goods entering our community.

Map of Europe indicating the four member countries of the Visegrád Group

Visegrad Group, also called the Visegrad Four, or V4 is a cultural and political alliance of four Central European states – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – for the purposes of furthering their European integration, as well as for advancing military, economic and energy cooperation with one another.[

All the Visegrád countries now have leaders who could be fairly described as national-populists. In Western Europe, their rhetoric would often put them at the far-right of the political spectrum: they typically reject migrants and Islam, and do not wish to reproduce the Westerners’ experiment in multiculturalism in their own countries. This has led to clashes with Western Europe, notably Angela Merkel’s Germany, and the European Commission, who have advocated the welcoming of millions of refugees and the distribution of thousands across Central Europe.

Furthermore, all these nations – with the exception of Poland – have made various pro-Russian statements, and implied that they would ideally want a reconciliation and reinforcement of economic ties with Moscow. This bodes ill for the maintenance of the EU’s sanctions against Russia, in retaliation for the annexation of Crimea, and which can only be maintained by unanimity. More generally, Trump’s traumatic surprise electoral win in the United States is likely to embolden Central European conservatives in challenging Brussels and Berlin’s leadership of the EU.

Central Europe according to The World Factbook (2009),[17] Encyclopædia Britannica, and Brockhaus Enzyklopädie (1998)

The area in which this is most apparent is perhaps demographics. Central Europe faces severe medium-term decline in the face of ongoing emigration – while wages have risen, they remain much higher in the West – and extremely low fertility, which goes from 1.3 children per woman in Poland to 1.5 in the Czech Republic.

As a result, the European Commission projects that all these nations, with the exception of the Czech Republic, will see a drastic decline in population between now and 2080, falling by as much as 25 percent. In Poland, this would mean almost 10 million less people. This will inevitably mean a weaker Central Europe in the world, with a rapidly-shrinking labour force obligated to commit an ever-greater share of resources to an exploding population of pensioners.

The case of demographics shows the weaknesses of Visegrád’s alternative vision for Europe. Borders and national sovereignty are indeed means of slowing change, including undesirable change. But in themselves, they would do little to halt Europe’s decline to an elderly collection of statelets on the western Eurasian periphery. No doubt more creative and forward-looking measures are needed to prevent such a scenario and secure a sovereign Europe’s place among this century’s leading powers.

Everywhere in Europe we have to face the problem of the older getting population. Europe shall need young men and women to strengthen our workforce. When we can help rescuing people fleeing for the horrors of war we should open our borders.

Therefore, we can only shake our heads when we hear that others plan on building walls. Europe is familiar with such division. We must not let it come to that point anymore. To question the free movement of persons, on anyone’s behalf, would be a major setback for this free and diverse community.

The EU is not perfect but it assures peace and safety in Europe. To criticise it, is legitimate. To destroy it, is not.

We cannot deny that reforms and innovations are needed to make the EU fit for the future. However, these reforms can only be completed through unity and cohesion and not through antipathy and inner conflict.

A strengthening of the European Union is very overdue.

Isn’t it a privilege to be able to call our neighbours our friends? To move freely without passport control? Not to have to exchange currency? And moreover: to live in peace?

For us Europeans, these privileges have become self-evident, just like so many other things in the EU. And yet so many are beginning to question it all.

With thanks to Vox Europe

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Preceding articles

Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses

Challenges and impact on freedom of movement within the EU

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Additional reading

  1. Migrants to the West #1
  2. Migrants to the West #2
  3. Migrants to the West #3
  4. Migrants to the West #6
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  7. 2015 Human rights
  8. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  11. Problems by losing the borders
  12. Brexit: The mother of all uncertainties
  13. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts

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Related articles

  1. With EU and U.S. Distracted, Central and Eastern European Countries Crack Down on Civil Society
  2. European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) [Policy Podcast]
  3. Schengen area: Update and state of play
  4. Hungary: The Abject Failure of the EU
  5. UK & Europe
  6. UK: MP McDonagh chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community calls crack down of radicalisation
  7. Brexit bill to go before MPs from Monday
  8. Brexit, Blair and doing the right thing
  9. Will UK Nationals Lose their EU Citizens’ Rights after Brexit?
  10. Pros and cons of multi-speed EU
  11. Poland ‘alone’ in the EU after Tusk re-election snub — Anti-European Union storm clouds — “The EU is in Germany’s sphere of influence.”
  12. Ordanoski: There is only one direction for Balkan countries – west
  13. As ECB Charts Economic Course, Politics Complicate the Picture
  14. EPRS circular economy infographic
  15. Berlin calls for dialogue to mitigate risks in Balic Sea region
  16. Reactions to the ECJ decision on asylum law in EU
  17. Europe: Poland fails to stop Donald Tusk EU re-election
  18. Donald Tusk re-elected as European council president
  19. Much to Poland’s Chagrin, Donald Tusk Wins Second Term as European Council President
  20. The European pass or how to expel more

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Filed under Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Migration not something to fear

With the terrorist attacks in Paris last weekend, the European Union was shocked again and the social media went as a roller-coaster shouting love and hate messages.

In most messages which tried to bring fear and hate against non-Caucasians and people of an other faith than Christendom we noticed that that’s a gross of given numbers was overestimated a lot. Many overestimate the amount of illegal citizens as well as the amount of refugees.

What does “fair” migration look like? Does protecting citizens’ rights depend upon limiting migrants’ freedoms? Or is migration actually one of the best weapons we have in the fight against poverty, injustice and social immobility – on both sides of our border?

Lets look at real ciphers:

Ten years ago, developing countries hosted 70% of the world’s refugees. In 2014 it could reach 86% of the amount of which those who reached Europe were just a very tiny percentage 4 à 5 %  of the total population of Europe.

The 49 least-developed countries – places like Chad, Malawi, and Yemen – provide asylum to 2.4 million exiles. By whatever measure you choose, the idea that the West is under siege from would-be refugees flies in the face of statistical evidence. In Pakistan, there are 552 refugees for every dollar per capita GDP; that number is 303 in Ethiopia, and 301 in Kenya. For the US, UK and Australia, the equivalent numbers are 5.4, 4.7 and 0.9.

In certain developed states we can see that people move around quite a lot to find work opportunities. This might not be so much in Belgium and Holland, but for France and other countries the locals often have to emigrate to an other place to be able to survive. Spanish, Greek and Portuguese we may find looking for work in Germany.

Most of us, if we move at all, do so within the borders of our own country – from Manchester to London, or from New York to California. In fact, we are at least six times more likely to migrate across a country (from one region to another) than we are to move across a border. There are at least 740 million domestic migrants. Few today would suggest we should restrict these migrations – in fact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly prohibits such restrictions. But however obvious this may seem to us, your right to move within the borders of your own is relatively recent. The US Supreme Court, for instance, only definitely confirmed US citizens’ ‘fundamental’ right to ‘move at will from place to place’ across state lines in 1920.

English: Stamp of Moldova: 50th anniversary of...

Stamp of Moldova: 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2013, according to the World Bank, there were 232 million people living outside the country of their birth. This is a significant number: but it isn’t overwhelming. It means that just 3% of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants are international migrants. The real puzzle about the age of global mobility is arguably not why so many people are moving across borders, but why so many are not.

Lots of people are afraid to loose their jobs when refugees come to live and work in their country. they must see that when more people are coming to live here, there shall be a need of more housing facilities, more products to be made for the growing amount of consumers, and those coming to work here shall also contribute to the social security providing enough money to pay for the older generation which shall be able to do more in their retirement.

Until 2008, Swedish labour migration was among the most restrictive system in the developed world: trade unions ‘had, and used, an informal veto on recruitment’. Today, its labour migration system is one of the most liberal. Employers – having first advertised the job to the local EU market for 10 days – can effectively recruit any worker, for any job, from anywhere. The result? Swedish workers working for firms recruiting labour migrants earn on average 10.5% more than those working in firms that don’t. The recent rise of the far-right Swedish Democrats risks pulling apart this liberal – and successful – model for labour migration

When it comes to inequality, birthplace is destiny. In 2012, researchers at the World Bank determined that no less than 50% of our lifetime income is determined solely by the country we live in — which, for 97% of us, is also the country we were born in.  It’s a citizenship lottery – and those of us lucky enough to be born in wealthy states are automatic winners.

This means international migration is one of the only ways in which individuals can redress the arbitrary inequalities of citizenship assigned at birth. And it works – a migrant who moves from a low-income to a high-income country can expect, on average, a 15-fold increase in income — and a 16-fold decrease in child mortality rates.

Emigration is not a one-way flow: Western citizens leave their home countries too.

In 2014, at least 5.6 million British citizens lived permanently abroad. And while some of them may prefer to call themselves “expatriates”, 40% of these emigrants – an estimated 2.2 million UK citizens – are EU migrants by any other name.  That balances neatly with the 2.3 million EU migrants from other states who have come to the UK.

Did those ex-pats bring problems to the countries they moved to? Did those migrating people bring more criminality in those visited countries?

The US has experienced a 45% drop in violent crime rates since 1990. During the same period, the number of unauthorised migrants climbed from 3.5 to 11 million, and the percentage of the population who were foreign born rose from 8 to 13%. Correlation, of course, is not causation.  But it is a good indication that more migration does not translate into more crime.  And in fact, researchers from the US have similarly concluded that ‘broad reductions in violent crime during recent years are partially attributable to increases in immigration’. In the UK, immigrant “enclaves” – defined as neighbourhoods where at least 30% of the residents are immigrants – have lower levels of crime and victimisation than similar socio-economic areas without a large immigrant presence.

We must be honest and we must be sincerely looking at the reality of the migration issue.

Perhaps it would be better if more people would consider how a migration could keep a certain balance and how the refugees of today perhaps can be the solution for the problems we shall have to face when the boomchildren are going to retire.

Remember also what @Shaimaakhalil by mobilitymuse twittered today

Refugees are not the cause of violence,they are the people trying to flee it. Hope EU leaders remember that as they deal with
  • With thanks for the text-material to “Migrants and Citizens” which poses the big questions we need to be asking about immigration and inequality.

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Preceding:

What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Real progress leaves nobody behind

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Additional reading:

  1. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  4. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  5. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  6. Europe’s refugees just follow the ancient routes for the peopling of Europe in the Neolithic
  7. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  8. Islamophobic hate crimes rise in UK following terror attacks
  9. Paris attacks darkning the world
  10. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  11. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  12. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  13. Wrong ideas about religious terrorism
  14. State and attitude of certain people to blame for radicalisation
  15. The world Having to face a collective failure
  16. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  17. Bringing into safety from Iraq and Iran

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Further reading

  1. Welcoming the Refugee – Choosing to Walk Away from Fear
  2. Feelings on Refugees, Post-Paris Attacks
  3. The other side
  4. So many women stand waiting behind fences…
  5. The Migration of the Irish to Newport in the 1800’s.
  6. America, the Not So Promised Land – The New York Times
  7. Walter Noteboom’s Emigration Record from the Netherlands
  8. San Marino and Paris
  9. Beach Bound
  10. Poll: Third of Jewish Israelis favor urging Arab Israeli emigration
  11. The Feld family – part two
  12. Dithane and Doodlebugs
  13. Jews Leave Europe as Arab-Muslims arrive
  14. Armenia’s independence generation
  15. Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again!
  16. Moving Home, Moving On
  17. Looking for emigrants from the Rhineland?
  18. I Need to share…
  19. Hello from the other side…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Economical affairs, Headlines - News