Europe is struggling with an identity crisis, Csaba Dömötör, the state secretary of the Cabinet Office, said at the Bálványos Summer University in Baile Tusnad /Tusnádfürdő, in central Romania, on Wednesday.
“Europe is still the best place in the world,” Dömötör told a podium discussion on the future of Europe, adding, at the same time, that the continent was facing an identity crisis fuelled by a decline in birth rates and what he said was the relinquishment of European culture.
Europe’s identity crisis had been brought to the surface by the issue of migration and deepened by “the fact that it is hard to engage in intelligent dialogue about migration due to expectations of political correctness”.
The state secretary said Europe’s loss of confidence in its identity was also reflected by the fact that it was “the only continent in the world to have left its doors open to immigrants”.
Citing data from the EU’s border management agency Frontex, Dömötör said 3.5 million illegal migrants had entered Europe since 2009, which he said had altered the ratio of immigrants to native Europeans. He also cited a projection by the research institute Q Research estimating that Europe’s Muslim population could treble by 2050. He named the emergence of parallel societies and secluded “no-go zones” as consequences of mass migration.
Citing data from Germany, Dömötör said
the migrant crisis was also hard on member states’ budgets. In 2017, Germany spent 20 billion euros on handling migration, compared with 9.3 billion on family subsidies.
He said the emergence of migrants had also hurt public safety. The number of registered assault crimes in Germany doubled from 2014 to 2015, and 40 percent of the crimes were committed by non-German citizens, he said.
Dömötör said 70 percent of Europeans are concerned about migration, adding that the issue is expected to be a central topic in the run-up to next year’s European parliamentary elections.