Spotlight on migration policy
Europe, we need to talk!
Anyone who makes a topic taboo really makes it explode. This also applies to immigration problems. We have to argue about them – even if it hurts.
Civil war-like riots shook Germany on New Year’s Eve.
Christian DorerEditor-in-Chief Blick Group
Civil war-like riots shook Germany on New Year’s Eve, and everyone asked themselves: Who would do something like that? But the Berlin correspondent of the ARD “Tagesschau” did not talk about the perpetrators, but babbled something about “group dynamic processes” that were related to the “great pressure on society as a whole after two years of the pandemic”.
The facts are clear: most of the attacks came from young men with a migration background. Hundreds attacked police officers, paramedics and firefighters with firecrackers, rockets and projectiles. A third of the 145 people arrested in Berlin were German, a third Afghans and Syrians, and a third came from 15 other nations.
To conclude from this that all migrants are violent would of course be nonsense. But it is even more nonsensical to make the topic of immigration taboo – differentiation is important in order to protect migrants who are well integrated, who are learning German, who are doing an apprenticeship.
But when migrants attack relief and law enforcement officers, German politicians often prefer to discuss a ban on firecrackers than migration. Because they fear otherwise appearing as xenophobic or even racist.
You can see what this leads to in Sweden. For decades, migrants were more welcome there than anywhere else in Europe. Talking about problems was taboo under the Social Democratic government. Murders, gang crime and neighborhoods where the police no longer dared to enter caused anger among the population. Today the conservatives are in power in Stockholm, supported by the ultra-right Sweden Democrats. And Sweden is seen in Europe as a prime example of unsuccessful integration policy.
Foreign editor Guido Felder (58) is currently researching Blick in Sweden – you can read his report here on Monday. The Islam critic Hamed Abdel-Samad (50) already expressed his views in tomorrow’s Sunday newspaper. He sees the responsibility of the state and the media and asks: “How are you supposed to solve a problem if you don’t even want to name it?”
In Switzerland, this question has been answered. Nothing is taboo here. Nor problems with migrants. In their reports, the police name the origin of suspects and perpetrators. Thanks to direct democracy, we are used to tough political debates; Citizens are able to correctly classify even difficult topics. The media landscape is broad, from the right, like the “Weltwoche” to the left, like the “Wochenzeitung” – and many titles in the middle. If politicians wanted to wipe something under the table, someone would definitely launch a popular initiative.
In this point, Europe can learn from Switzerland: that it is right to address problems openly – because that leads to better results than any taboo.