TITLE

MELTING POT

AUTHOR(S)
McGuire, Stryker; Theil, Stefan; Valla, Marie; Nadeau, Barbie; Ferro, Charles
PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
Newsweek (Pacific Edition);5/3/2004 (Pacific Edition), Vol. 143 Issue 18, p23
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article discusses what the accession of 10 new members to the European Union on May 1 means for immigration laws. As immigration, legal and illegal, begins to transform much of Europe into a melting pot, legislators realize they may soon face a set of seemingly impossible choices. There are debates over how immigration brings diversity, which erodes the sense of shared values and solidarity that has kept enlightened European socialism alive in a world of free markets and rampant capitalism. Those debating the point talk of models. Immigration will reshape Europe, and according to the American demographer Bill Frey, the median age in the EU by 2050 will be 52.7 years, compared with 36.2 years in the United States. Enlargement will do little to ease Europe's demographic bind. Birth rates in Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic are among the lowest in the world. Immigration from outside the new 25-member EU will therefore become essential to Europe's economic well-being. But that very fact will force adjustments. Europe's sizable non-Christian minority is already the fastest-growing segment of the continental population, and in some countries that has become a source of deep anxiety. Unlike the United States, where large-scale immigration has helped boost American productivity and entrepreneurship, Europe has largely discouraged economic immigration. In advance of the May 1 enlargement, alarmed by the prospect of invading East European job seekers, Denmark's conservative government passed a law granting benefits to immigrants only after they've been in the country for seven years. Germany's socialists, along with most other EU governments, adopted similar measures. The barriers take different forms, from residency tests and waiting periods to outright prohibitions.
ACCESSION #
13108226

 

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