Friday, June 27, 2008

The EU's Race Problem

The persistent violence against ethnic minorities thoughout Europe is one indicator that European Union leaders do not handle diversity whether it be of color, religion, or culture, very well. While Javier Solana and other EU leaders are quick to point out human rights violations around the world they have been less candid about "discrimination, entrenched disadvantage, racist violence" under their own jurisdiction. A European rights agency is accusing EU member states of failing to safeguard against entrenched racial disadvantages and ultra right-wing violence against minority groups. While Britain and France were credited with using measures to fight racism most other EU members including Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, and Poland have done little. "Effective and dissuasive sanctions are crucial to fight ethnic and racial discrimination..without these, discriminatory attitudes and behavioral patterns are unlikely to change and victims remain defenseless."In addition to it's purported racism, a controversial new EU immigration policy is raising important questions about the Union's future. Peru's conservative president Alan Garcia joined the chorus of Latin American executives who are condemning the new immigration pact. Garcia and others are looking to create a united front against Europe's policy, which they say is a drastic abuse of migrant rights. The debate over the Libson treaty continues but the most important question about the future of the EU remains unanswered; how will the EU value migrant workers and minorities who live and raise families in member countries?