Terror attacks in France and Austria have put Europe’s 25 million Muslims back in the spotlight. The unwanted attention is familiar. Discussing Muslims as a security risk invariably reaches fever pitch after an Islamist-inspired terrorist act. This time the attackers came from Chechnya, Tunisia and one had roots in North Macedonia. But never mind: anxiety over the Muslim “enemy within” goes deep.
Anxious debates on the place of Islam in Europe and claims that European Muslims are footsoldiers in an existential confrontation between Europe and Islam and represent an impossible-to-integrate “other” have dogged Muslims across the continent for decades.
There is a dangerous new shrillness to the conversation this time, however.… Seguir leyendo »
Fortress Europe is being redesigned – but it is no easy task. European Union home affairs ministers on Thursday began the process of repairing the bloc’s broken migration policy, just weeks after the tragic devastation of the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos. Expect no quick changes, however. The 27 countries are deeply divided over proposals for a new “pact” on asylum and migration.
The European commission’s plan calls for faster pre-entry screening and quick returns of those who fail to quality for asylum. The focus is on ending sometimes deliberately slow, inhumane and inefficient border management procedures, which lead to squalid, overcrowded camps such as Moria, where people can be left in limbo for years.… Seguir leyendo »
With Trump’s US missing in action from the global stage, the European Union should be stepping into the vacuum. Germany, which has just taken over the bloc’s rotating presidency, could use the next six months to provide the leadership to boost Europe’s global impact. But is it ready to shake off its traditional reticence?
Immediate economic challenges will dominate EU leaders’ first in-person encounter since the lockdown, on 17 and 18 July. And Berlin is right to prioritise agreement on the EU’s new seven-year budget and a pandemic recovery plan, a task complicated by internal rifts and new forecasts warning of an even deeper recession than expected across the 27-nation bloc.… Seguir leyendo »
Black Lives Matter protests across Europe are exposing the continent’s dismal record of race-based violence, discrimination and harassment. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, have acknowledged their countries’ struggle with systemic racism. But European Union institutions admit no such failing or promise any change. EU condemnations of George Floyd’s brutal killing have been stilted, confused and confusing – including complacent claims that it could never happen in Europe.
“Allow me to repeat that all lives matter, black lives also matter,” Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief said, but only several days after indignant minority ethnic Europeans were protesting in the streets warning that “in Europe, we also can’t breathe”.… Seguir leyendo »