Millions on the move

Europe has emerged as one of the world’s two major destination regions for immigrants since the 1990s, but it is equally clear that many Europeans are ill at ease with this.

The World Today Published 1 August 2014 Updated 4 March 2021 4 minute READ

James Hampshire

Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Sussex, and author of The Politics of Immigration: Contradictions of the Liberal State

Governments across Europe face growing pressure to restrict immigration as public opinion hardens and anti-immigrant parties make headway. The most recent European Parliamentary elections in May 2014 saw gains for populist anti-immigrant parties, including outright victories for the French National Front and United Kingdom Independence Party.

This poses an acute dilemma for governments: how to prevent an anti-immigrant backlash without undoing the benefits of free movement within the European Union, as well as immigration into it.

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