Europe must follow the ANZ Multicultural model

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Europe must take a leaf out of the Immigration Chapters of Australia and New Zealand to become successful in multiculturalism, which in turn would contribute to economic growth and productivity, an expert has said.

Sydney based Centre for Independent Studies Research Fellow Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich said while Australia and New Zealand epitomised the success of multiculturalism, Germany and rest of Europe were examples of its failure.

“Australia and New Zealand have been able to integrate their migrant communities well, providing them opportunities for education, employment and expression. They have better qualified migrants than Europe does, primarily because of their careful selection policy,” he told Indian Newslink during an interview, ahead of an address delivered to the members and guests of the New Zealand Business Round Table at the Formosa Club in Auckland on February 17.

He quoted a recent research, which said that 99% of migrants to Europe from Turkey remained Turks.

“Many migrant groups feel stronger about their religious faith and cultural attachment even after 50 years of stay, whereas their counterparts in Australia and New Zealand felt that they were Australians or New Zealanders about a year after their migration.

“Multiculturalism works in Australia and New Zealand but has failed in Europe, especially in Germany.

“About 25% of the Australian people were born overseas. There is greater diversity, better integration and more cohesiveness in the society. Migrants to Australia perform better in education and occupy more responsible jobs than their European counterparts. Australia has less crime than Europe.

“I am sure like Australia, migrants are better off in New Zealand,” he said.

Unskilled workers

According to Dr Hartwich, most migrants to Europe were unskilled workers, which made it difficult for them to contribute effectively to economic growth and commercial progress.

“The current anti-immigration feeling, almost like xenophobia, is the result of the problems created by mismanaged multiculturalism,” he said.

A number of other experts say that Germany was bashing foreigners just then when it needs them. Germany’s workforce is shrinking and growth is raising demand for skilled labour.

According to Liberal Economy Minister Rainer Bruderle, skills shortages cost the economy €15 billion ($US21 billion) in 2009. He wants to import qualified workers on a Canadian-style points system.

British failure

Dr Hartwich said Britain had also largely failed to make its migrant population at home, and hence had to contend with a failed multicultural society.

He referred to Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on ‘Islamism and British Values’ at a conference in Munich, Germany, infuriating his country’s migrant population in general, and Muslims in particular.

Conservatives chortled that Mr Cameron had hailed the end of multiculturalism.

What he actually said was that a doctrine of “state multiculturalism” had encouraged Britons to live segregated lives. In its stead, he proposed a “muscular liberalism” that confronts extremism and promotes a British identity open to all.

Much of it was not new. A year after the London bombings of July 2005 Ruth Kelly, then the Labour minister in charge of community policies, asked whether multiculturalism had encouraged “separateness.”

The New Zealand scene

Mervin Singham, Director at the Office of Ethnic Affairs in New Zealand is upbeat about multiculturalism, saying that it brought the globe within New Zealand’s border.

“We can tap into the potential this offers us all. A shift in paradigm may be necessary in order to achieve this successfully,” he said, writing in the Aotearoa Ethnic Network Journal in 2006.

He had suggested that New Zealand should seek ‘strength in diversity’ paradigm as a new way of approaching the issue of ethnic diversity.

“Government, civil society, private sector, leaders, families and teachers all have a role to play in realising this vision,” he had said.

Dr Hartwich said the Australian Federal Government set a standard for all immigrants for strict compliance.

“This includes allegiance, knowledge of English as the official language, seeking employment and efforts to integrate into mainstream Australia. These have worked very well for Australia and Australians,” he said.

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