All this is not only about adopting a humanitarian attitude towards the world, but also about a realistic positioning for Europe. The continent’s share of the global population is steadily declining. High productivity still ensures prosperity, both in the production of goods and in the intellectual and scientific sector.
To take just one example: the majority of websites are still operated from Europe and North America, despite the global diversity of languages on the internet. But Europe will not be in a position to shape the future unless it opens the doors to increased immigration, which in turn means two things.
Firstly, European states will have to commit to the transformation of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America if they want to pursue immigration as the standard form of a multicultural society rather than as chaotic refugee management resulting from selfinflicted wars.
Secondly, they will have to take serious steps to fight systemic racism in our society. In our latitudes, it is true there is also a strong anti-racist movement. In Germany, the Black Lives Matter movement has contributed to the Merkel government pushing through some major anti-racism measures.
Although associated attitudes have remained fairly stable in Germany over the years, conflicts and attacks – from hate speech to xenophobic violence – have increased and are now far more widespread than Islamist attacks, which also exacerbate conflicts.
Nevertheless, the success of the AfD and the strikingly high levels of approval for anti-Muslim attitudes amongst Germany’s middle classes show that cosmopolitanism is far from being a consensus in Germany. Instead, immigrants from Africa and the Middle East in particular find themselves hitting a glass wall of rejection everywhere in Germany. In the housing and labour market, in educational institutions, or in terms of socio-cultural participation (such as wearing a hijab to a nightclub), they experience discrimination on a daily basis. Although associated attitudes have remained fairly stable in Germany over the years, conflicts and attacks – from hate speech to xenophobic violence – have increased and are now far more widespread than Islamist attacks, which also exacerbate conflicts.