Deep-Rooted Changes Might Be Coming After the European Elections

Facade of the European Commission's main building with flags of the European Union. (Photo: Andrew Guitar /

Migration has been used in the slogans and messages by virtually all European party groups, as it is surely going to be one of the central, deciding issues in this year’s European elections. These messages however were vastly different, and even though there is a new Migration Pact in place in the European institutional system, a clear, overarching concept is yet to emerge. With a newly-assembled European Parliament and in time, a new Commission, might bring forth words and problems that have so far been sunk in bureaucracy.

All of the major political parties came together to form the New Pact on Asylum and Migration, but in the end, it represents the positions of the European People’s Party and is essentially the result of how the EPP, Renew (Liberals), and Socialists (S&D) view the problem.

The coalition of right-wing populist parties, Identity and Democracy (ID), has a harsh stance on immigration. They claimed that immigration from nations that are essentially distinct from Europe could endanger European liberty. ID would want to address migration from this stance.

In contrast to other political parties, European far-right political movements have made effective migration control a top priority. Remigration, which some define as the forced or encouraged return of non-ethnically European immigrants, is frequently associated with the far-right movement.

A Brief Historical Review of Remigration

The modern far-right concept of remigration goes back to the 1960s when one of the officials of the Front National (FN) used the expression ’we will send them back’. Almost sixty years later, in 2018, the French National Rally party considered that they would introduce a remigration programme to force immigrants back to their country of origin, in case they came to power.

The concept of remigration accelerated since 2014-2015 and it gained momentum in 2018 and 2019. By now, remigration has practically become a policy of the far-right.

In 2018 a remigration campaign was launched in Germany which resulted in 2019 that campaign slogan of German far-right party AfD “Remigration instead of integration” spread all across Germany ahead of the European Parliament elections. In 2018, identitarian activists have engaged in the promotion of remigration in the UK. In 2019, a branch of the Austrian FPÖ party announced a national call for remigration.

Remigration: A Viable Concept

Europe definitely needs a workable migration concept, since irregular migration to the continent has been increasing steadily in recent years and appears to be unabated by any existing or future agreement on migration and asylum, whatever pact it may be. A firm attitude on migration would also be essential.

According to established models, returning migrants are valued as human resources in their home countries because they contribute innovation to a variety of disciplines, including politics, culture, and business. They are also valued for their language skills, professional experience, and connections made while living abroad. Studying successful models that already exist and developing an optimistic outlook may help prevent remigration from being instantly rejected and stigmatized as something far-right and, so, wicked. But above all, funding for the promotion of happy experiences ought to be allocated. While remigration might not be the ideal choice for everyone, it might become a workable answer with the right kind of education. To improve the idea, remove the extreme hyperbole, and make an appeal to common reason would be all that is required.


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