Csaba Dömötör, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister spoke about Europe’s identity crisis in Tusnádfürdő, at a stage discussion on the future of Europe held on Wednesday at the Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp (Tusványos).

Mr Dömötör said that Europe would be the best place in the world today, but it is struggling with an identity crisis which is boosted, among other things, by a decline in birth rates and cultural self-surrender. In his view, this crisis has been brought to the surface by the issue of migration, and it has been aggravated by the fact that it is difficult to conduct a meaningful dialogue about immigration due to the expectations of political correctness. He took the view that it also indicates Europe’s uncertainty regarding its identity that the continent – the only place in the world – is leaving its gates open to immigrants.

Citing Frontex data, he said that since 2009 – in addition to legal immigrants and people applying for family reunification – some 3.5 million illegal immigrants have entered Europe, and they have caused a change in internal population percentages. He referred to the projection of the fact tank Pew Research Center based on which the Muslim population in Europe could triple by 2050. Mr Dömötör believes that it is a consequence of large-scale immigration that in Europe, instead of multiculturalism, parallel societies and no-go areas have developed which are no longer under the control of the state authorities.

Mr Dömötör argued by citing German data that the migration crisis is also a major burden upon the budgets of states. In 2017 Germany spent EUR 20 billion on purposes related to migration, while it allocated a mere EUR 9.3 billion for the purposes of targeted family benefits. He also observed that the mass appearance of immigrants has caused a significant deterioration in public security. In Germany between 2014-2015 the number of attacks on persons doubled, and 40 per cent of the individuals accused of the commission of criminal acts had no German citizenship which appears to indicate that they were immigrants.

According to the Parliamentary State Secretary seventy per cent of European citizens find immigration concerning, and therefore it is to be expected that it will be in the centre of attention at next year’s European parliamentary elections as well.