Politicians say with fury that their migration policies ‘must’ work. What if they don’t?
Europe in 2017 is racked with uncertainty—the eurozone crises, the endless challenges of the European Union, national elections that resemble endless rounds of bullet-dodging. Yet even these events are insignificant compared with the deep tectonic shifts beneath the Continent’s politics, shifts that Europeans—and their allies—ignore at our peril.
Throughout the migration crisis of recent years I traveled across the Continent, from the reception islands into which migrants arrive to the suburbs in which they end up and the chancelleries which encouraged them to come. For decades Europe had encouraged guest workers, and then their families, to come. As Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel once admitted, nobody expected them to stay.
Yet stay they did, with their numbers swelling even when there were no jobs. Waking up to the results of their policy, European societies rebranded themselves “multicultural” societies, only to begin wondering what that meant. Could a multicultural society make any demands of its newcomers? Or would that be “racist”?