A two way lifeline


The number of migrants losing their lives while trying to reach EU shores has never been as high. The most recent estimate is that 80.000 have died in the last decade. The EU, rightly or wrongly, is seen by the hundred of thousands, if not millions,of would-be-immigrants as a lifeline to jobs, a better life and human security. Ironically these same migrants, most of whom Europe would prefer to deny, constitute more of  a lifeline for Europe than the converse. Fertility rates throughout most of the EU continue to plummet and most EU countries have fallen well below the point of natural demographic replenishment. What this means is that many EU countries no longer have the number of people entering the work force, paying the taxes and the social security contributions needed to keep national health systems and pension programs alive. European countries are not only dying demographically; their social welfare systems are also dying. The 80.000 migrants who have died trying to reach the EU are a small fraction of the number of people the EU, Switzerland, and other non-EU countries would need to survive. Coming to terms with this dilemma must be given a higher priority. Time is flying and continued benign neglect of this bilateral lifeline issue could quickly become tragic for everyone concerned.

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