Immigration in the European Union

In Financial Times Martin Wolf articulates what we are also hearing in other European countries, and what is probably the emerging consensus on immigration in France and Northern Europe.

“What then is my bottom line? It is that a continuation of net immigration on the recent scale is hard to justify. It is that the assumption that all communities will integrate with the political and religious culture of the UK may be quite wrong. It is that the country must insist on the universality of its liberal values. It is that the focus now should be on bringing in skilled people who are most likely to make a big economic contribution to the country and to fit comfortably within its norms and values.”

Spain and Italy are different. They import unskilled labor and seem to be pursuing the construction of Latin American social structures, where the educated woman’s liberation is the presence of servants. Catholic Southern European countries have yet to build up institutions that provide the services traditionally provided by the Catholic Church.

More on immigration in these blogs, here, here, and here.

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2 thoughts on “Immigration in the European Union

  1. I think that migration should be a matter of personal decision, not of policy. In fact this is hard to avoid – immigration keeps occurring despite current xenophobic policies. (Hard, but not impossible; Hitler and Stalin quite “successfully” implemented their xenophobic policies on massive scales.)

    I agree with the idea that liberal values have universal application. It applies also to inmigrants, and in terms of both rights and obligations.

  2. How many immigrants should Iceland (population 300.000) accept? Scandinavian countries are small and relatively egalitarian, with welfare systems much beloved by the voters. Either you have to restrict immigration, or you have to restrict access to welfare services and create different kinds of residents, with different rights. I think the latter is probably less desirable than the former, but we will see various combinations of the two.

    Restrictions on immigration are effective, that is why there are such large differences in wages for the same job in different countries. Not good for Chinese stone masons, but good for Portugese stone masons.

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