One constantly hears about right wing politicians and their new policies for the European refugee crisis. Apparently they are on the raise. Anti-immigrant, racist and xenophobe ideas become more and common and spread rapidly. Most elections in Europe confirm it. In most countries, the right and populist parties get pretty good results. Does that mean that Europe, the birthplace of human rights and equality, has become intolerant? A recent poll by the German “Bertelsmann” foundation shows that, despite what politicians and the media say, most Europeans are still tolerant. 11.410 citizens have been asked on their opinion about Europe and the recent mass immigrations. The result of this poll is most surprising and does not match with the belief that Europe has become hateful.
According to the calculations that were made, 52% of the Europeans want the union to be responsible for matters of immigration. Even in Poland, which is known to be amongst the toughest enemies of immigration, 60% of the population agrees to it. 79% of the Europeans want the refugees to be equally distributed amongst the member states. With 91% of the Germans, 89% of the Spanish, 79% of the French and 77% of the Brits. Those numbers speak for themselves. The quiet majority of the people in Europe agree with refugee-friendly policies and would not mind sharing their country with refugees. Most of them expect solutions from the European Union and the poll shows that they trust that it will soon be found.
Contradictorily to what one could think, the quiet majority does not agree with their government’s policies. But unfortunately those are, as their name describes it, quiet. One only hears the voices of the loud minority that “seeks the future in the past” (as said by the German journalist Jakob Augstein) and wants back their old borders and an old world that does not longer exist. One only hears from movements like the German “Pegida” or the French “Front national”, from right extremists that burn down shelters or fascist rallies that destroy a part of a city. Those events do not reflect the European reality. The quiet majority of tolerant people has to come out and speak up against it. They have to vote for less extremist candidates to elections, take part in rallies that welcome refugees and speak up against intolerance and xenophobia in their everyday life. It is about time that the quiet majority becomes the loud majority that takes matters into their own hands.