Immigration is the hot topic in European politics, and is largely the prominent issue that divides the currently established left and right political parties. How to handle immigration going forward is by no means settled on the European continent, and large ideological divides on the matter splinter the various political factions within the European countries. Despite the ongoing debate, some claim the future is already set, and the best thing to do is to accept their proposed forecast so preparations can be made.
According to The Economist, a merger of the African and European continents is inevitable. “Today’s waves of African migration are merely a prelude. Of the 2.2 billion citizens added to the global population by 2050, 1.3bn will be Africans.” By The Economist’s assessment, the predicted population explosion brings forth the increased likelihood of mass migration. Since Europe is the closest neighboring continent to the north, this region is therefore going to play host to the wave of migrants flowing out of Africa.
The Economist goes on to note, that Emmanuel Macron seems to be inviting this version of the future for Europe. “The French president was recommending a new book, ‘The Rush to Europe,’ published in French by Stephen Smith of Duke University” which suggests “the number of Afro-Europeans (Europeans with African roots) could rise from 9 million at present to between 150 million and 200 million by 2050, perhaps a quarter of Europe’s total population.”
This figure is not directly promoted by any known political party is Europe. However, the proposal is made as if this future is inevitably the path Europe is going down whether or not is yet consciously foreseen in the minds of important figures and European voters. The proposed best course of action according to Mr. Smith, “is to accept the integration of Africa and Europe,” thus it can be a smooth transition.
“Alex de Waal, an African expert at Tufts University, agrees that is the only realistic course,” notes The Economist. According to Waal, “Building walls will not work.” Thus, any effort to reject this future is not only denying destiny, but it is futile.
The Economist concludes the projection of Europe’s future by acknowledging that, “The two options, Fortress Europe versus Eurafrica, may one day end up as a choice between denial and reality. Europe cannot insulate itself from the dramatic long-term shifts in its continental neighbour. Like it or not, Eurafrica is part of Europe’s demographic and cultural destiny. It is better, surely, not to ignore or reject this but to work out how to make it a success.”