Monday, June 18, 2018

As the European Union Melts Down

Is unfettered immigration destroying the European Union? One would be hard put to draw a different conclusion after reading Niall Ferguson’s column in the Times of London yesterday.

We know that Eastern Europe has closed its borders. We know that the government of Angela Merkel is about to collapse over her insistence on keeping Germany’s borders open. We know that Italy recently turned away a ship of refugees… which was redirected toward Spain and France. As for Brexit, by all indications the government of Theresa May is incapable of negotiating it. This does not mean that it is not going to happen, but that it is going to be a messy process. And then, to top it all off, French president Macron wants to replace the English language with French in EU dealings.

The European melting pot is melting down. It is not a pretty picture.

As the EU implodes one nation after another is returning to more nationalist politics:

Their argument will be that a massive Völkerwanderung overwhelmed the project for European integration, exposing the weakness of the EU as an institution and driving voters back to national politics for solutions.

Let us begin with the scale of the influx. In 2016 alone an estimated 2.4m migrants came to the 28 EU member states from non-EU countries, taking the total foreign-born population of the union up to 36.9m, more than 7% of the total.

This may be just the beginning. According to the economists Gordon Hanson and Craig McIntosh, “the number of African-born first-generation migrants aged 15 to 64 outside sub-Saharan Africa [will] grow from 4.6m to 13.4m between 2010 and 2050”. The great majority of these will surely head to Europe.

If you look at the statistics, Ferguson continues, you can only draw one conclusion. The problem cannot be solved:

The problem is intractable. Continental Europe’s population is ageing and shrinking, but European labour markets have a poor record when it comes to integrating unskilled migrants. Moreover, a large proportion of Europe’s immigrants are Muslims. Liberals insist that is should be possible for Christians and Muslims to coexist peacefully in a secular, post-Christian Europe. In practice the combination of historically rooted suspicions and modern divergences in attitudes — notably on the status and role of women — is making assimilation difficult. (Compare the situation of Moroccans in Belgium with that of Mexicans in California if you don’t believe me.)

Meanwhile, back in America, the government will need to find a way to restrict immigration… or to follow in Europe’s footsteps:

In his upcoming book on US immigration, my brilliant friend Reihan Salam — himself the son of Bangladeshi immigrants — makes a bold argument: America must either restrict immigration or risk civil war as rising inequality and racial tension combine.

No one who has spent any time in Germany since Merkel’s great gamble of 2015-16 can honestly believe that a melting pot is in the making there. Anyone who visits Italy today can see that the policies of the past decade — austerity plus open borders — have produced a political meltdown.

Fusion may still be an option for the United States. For Europe, I fear, the future is one of fission — a process potentially so explosive that it may relegate Brexit to the footnotes of future history.

Have a nice day!


Sam L. said...

The EU: A big-time scam by the Euro-"elite". They seem to believe that they can either ride it out, or ride away from it. My guess they'll go 0 for 2.

dirtyjobsguy said...

I have a company with an office in France, so I follow the whole EU enterprise with interest. It has always puzzled me that why didn't EU proponents study US history since it provides the only real prototype for what they say they want. The current EU is just a more technologically advanced US under the Articles of Confederation. Now I know that they do understand the US history and are afraid to follow that to it's logical conclusion. A more unified culture/language plus a true national government. Let's not talk about the more libertarian nature of the USA.

The EU is popular with young people since they can work anywhere and consider it an escape from home. For others the costs are just now beginning to appear.