ANGELA MERKEL’S LEGACY: Europe’s Immigration Fatigue: Europe continues to fragment as an anti-immigrant backlash gathers strength.
The continued flow of MENA migrants into Europe remains the defining factor transforming the internal political dynamic in the European Union. The more than 1.5 million people who entered the EU last year, as well as those who are continuing to arrive on Europe’s shores, are straining state resources. The security of the EU’s external borders, a key subject of the recent heads-of-state meeting in Vienna, is also a serious problem. But even more significant than these are the internal political changes the migrant flows are driving: the growing polarization of the public and the hardening of anti-immigrant feelings across Europe.
The latter effect, the change in attitudes, is much more important for the EU’s future than whether member states can negotiate a plan for redistributing new arrivals; immigrants’ continuing difficulty integrating into society is an increasingly urgent problem. The newcomers’ failure to adapt to their new environment is a function of their often-limited language skills, cultural differences, and continued low levels of employment. All of this is driving a general sense in a number of host nations that the open door policy pursued by Germany and a number of other states last year is stretching their countries past the breaking point.
Who could have seen this coming? Meanwhile, Hillary says Angela Merkel is her favorite world leader.