Anti-Migration Narrative Becomes the New European Mainstream

The migration crisis in Europe was much more severe two or three years ago. Back then, Angela Merkel, the leader of Europe’s strongest country, made a mistake by trying to solve the problem in liberal ways. Later, she tried to backtrack, but policy reversal was slow as she feared losing face. Hungarian premier Viktor Orban was the only European politician who said it was a mistake and that Europe must defend itself from the influx of migrants.

If Europe does not defend itself, it will perish. This will not happen tomorrow or even the next few years, but the end of Europe will come. So what approach do we choose: the conservative or the liberal one? Of course, the conservative approach is more stringent, but it will facilitate the protection of Europe. It must decide if it sticks to the Christian values or prefers something else. The treaty forming the constitutional basis of the European Union does not refer to the Christian values, because the EU liberal mainstream did not want that at the time of its adoption. Thus, today we can choose the way, which will continue to debilitate Europe – because no union works without fundamental values – or a more promising one.

Importantly, migrants and refugees are two different notions. Of course, the people who have flooded Europe over the past years include much more migrants: people who want a better living without working. There was an argument of the lack of labour force, one that was based on humanistic values, but it has now become clear that migration flows do not help solve this problem. On the contrary, the newcomers want decent living, that is living on welfare. And because migrants do not solve Europe’s labour problems, it should be admitted that this liberal approach leads to a dead end. Europe must act on its real interests instead of clinging to an obsolete ideology. Therefore, we should of course accept refugees, but it we accept migrants, we will soon be unable to help even them.

Missed Opportunities: EU Has No Comprehensive Migration Strategy Teresa Coratella
The EU is politically, economically and culturally interconnected to key global players, from Russia to Turkey, from China to the US, whom it needs to confront if its wants to act globally. If Europe is divided internally, and the migration issue is only the top of the iceberg, how could it be a reliable interlocutor in front of its counterparts and how could it push forward its interests?

It is already clear that the numbers of migrants will continue to grow if the current situation does not change. Europeans do realize that something needs to be done and if the political elites do not understand it, the crisis will only aggravate. The future of Europe and the solution of this issue, in particular, depends on the results of the next elections to the European parliament. Therefore, in 2019, these elections will not be a mere formality: the stakes are very high now.

Many in the west are discussing where Europe is going, but in many cases these discussions are only hot air. Some people say that the most important thing is protecting Europe’s borders beyond Europe. There are a lot of potential migrants in Libya, Syria, Turkey, sub-Saharan Africa, and their problems need to be addressed on the ground.

Europe should consolidate its efforts. Fortunately, today most European politicians are doing what Viktor Orban was talking about three years ago. At that time, he expressed the untold thoughts of European society as a whole. Today, Germany, Austria, Italy are gradually closing their borders. So, the process is underway and I think that its direction is right.

What was criticized three years ago is now the European mainstream. And Orban’s voice is not the voice of his country only, because he communicates the ideas of the entire European public.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.