Saving the European Union: The Climate Refugee Crises and the Far Right

Since graduating from the education system, the subject of human cowardice is one of the subjects that fascinates me the most. Through virtue of fear, ignorance or misconception, people actively attempt to ignore certain subjects. In some cases, people invest energy in political ideologies or ideas simply to avoid answering questions or having debates on given subjects. Very often this aversion towards conversations that seek to solve problems leads towards the creation of living standards that actively harm the individual and the community in both the short and long term, nonetheless, they have on some level kept face through virtue of failing to interact with rationality and logic – undeniably two of the most dangerous principles to protect if you are concerned with not hurting people’s feelings. 

Europe’s most insidious new subject is the question of immigration. If the European Union fails to implement an effective migration policy, then Europe will fall to the far right. The far right is keen to have the European Union destroyed. Unlike the British Conservative Party, Marine LePenn of the National Front, Matteo Salvini of the Five Star movement and Viktor Orban have all been courting Putin. Marine Le Pen has previously received a 9 million euro loan thanks to Putin. Similarly, it is Putin’s greatest western benefactor Donald Trump who has tried to align his movement with characters like Le Pen, Orban and Salvini. If you don’t believe me watch The Brink a documentary in which Bannon travels around Europe offering empty support to whoever’s seen as the far-right candidate in whatever European capital. We’re not talking about conspiracy. We have a very clear and transparent alignment between pro-Putin political movements in Europe and America that aim to destroy the European Union and likely weaken the NATO alliance. Beyond this, Trump demonstrates how right-wing populism can manipulate the democratic system into electing people that aren’t ready for the intellectual challenges of governance, warfare and diplomacy. 

The far right took advantage of the Refugee crises in which Refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan attempted to enter Europe. By 2016 nearly 5.2 million refugees reached European shores. The impact of the Refugee crises was explicit throughout Europe in the summer of 2015 and 2016. In 2015, I boarded trains from Greece to Berlin often crowded with Syrian refugees. At an Athens train station, a Greek journalist told me that Greece were going to be sending all the refugees to Germany in retaliation for mistreatment during Greek government debt crisis. In 2016 I was surprised how far Refugees were travelling. Going to a film that supported Refugee integration in Dortmund, Refugees we’re very evident through the city centre, after the film I met two Afghan refugees and one Nigerian. Freddy, a Nigerian Refugee and massive Liverpool fan, illustrated his journey saying ‘they told me that there were tigers but I survived the tigers’. 

There is a correlation between the migrant crises, anti-immigration policies and the rise of the Far Right. In France in 2017 Marine Le Pen, a party who couldn’t even secure funding from French banks because of ties with anti-semitism, received 33.90% of the vote. 4 years before she had received 17.9% of the vote. In Italy, the countries right wing populist leader reached the position of Deputy Prime Minister in 2018, his support a result of anti-immigration policies following a ‘big influx of sub-Saharan migrants from North Africa in 2016’.  In 2017, two years after Merkel offered asylum to a million refugees, the country who has done more than anyone else to remember the legacy of totalitarianism gave 12.6% of votes to the AfD gaining, 94 seats. In Spain in 2019 Vox won 52 seats. Prior to 2019, ‘just a single seat had been won by a far-right candidate’ since the death of dictator Francisco Franco. This was in 1979. In Austria in 2017 The Freedom Party became the only far right party in power, just like Italy, France, Germany and Spain, immigration and the migrant crises were voters greatest concern. 

The European Union has to make serious preparations in anticipation for a huge influx of climate refugees or risk the end of the European Union. The IPCC predicts there will be 200 million climate refugees by 2050 because of ecological changes that make parts of our world totally uninhabitable. The Groundswell project predicts that the climate refugees created in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the rest of South Asia will be ten times worse than the Syrian migration crises with 140 million refugees in 2050. In 2012, it was predicted in Bangladesh that 3 to 10 million people would be forced to relocate over the next 40 years because of climate change. My conversation with Freddy in Dortmund demonstrates that, be they from Africa or the Middle East, when refugees are met with disaster they look towards the European Union. If Europe doesn’t prevent mass migration into its Liberal Empire then Europe’s Liberal Empire will be destroyed and built in the image of authoritarians like Vladimir Putin. 

The issue of climate migration will define the future of the British Isles. Migration is greatly important to British voters. In a 2014 an IPSOS poll exemplified the spectre of immigration in Britain with 50% of respondents describing migration as the biggest political issue. It is absolutely vital for Britain and the European Union that this island, the United Kingdom, remains United through land and state. Given the importance of migration to voters, a failure to effectively deal with European migration, through Scottish membership towards the European Union, and climate migration through a divided border between Scotland and England would open the door to far-right movements in both Scotland and England and Wales. If the United Kingdom stays strong and united, we will remain in a dialectic between centre right and left parties both of whom will be the European Union’s greatest ally and act as the most appropriate European bridge for the United States and the nations of English-speaking peoples. 

We are 28 years away from the IPCC prediction of 200 million climate refugees. The 2022 French Presidential election offers an important case study on the importance of migration for the future of European politics. Of the four leading Presidential candidacies, two are from the right and two are from the far-right. Of those challenging Emanuel Macron, Immigration is the defining feature of the centre right campaign of Valerie Pecress’s and the two far right campaigns of Eric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen. The EU have to make plans today to stop mass migration determining Europe’s political future.

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