Friday 9 December 2016

Tackle the threat without making things any worse

Published 16/11/2015 | 02:30

'All mainstream politicians must now mind their mouths, show leadership, and avoid descending to the level of their demagogue opponents'
'All mainstream politicians must now mind their mouths, show leadership, and avoid descending to the level of their demagogue opponents'

If Charlie Flanagan had the opportunity to take a 10-minute walk from the EU building in Brussels where he and his colleagues will meet today, he would see immediate examples of the problems of immigrant integration in Europe.

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For 10 marvellous years I lived on the edge of the EU quarter in Brussels, close to the communes of Schaerbeek and St Josse, which are home to many of the city's huge Moroccan and Turkish populations. When I left in the late 1990s, there was already growing evidence of tensions, with the rising generation of the children of migrants whose poverty was compounded by a keen sense of not belonging to Brussels, Belgium or indeed Europe.

The memories, and reports of subsequent flashpoint incidents and the authorities' efforts to meet the many associated challenges, came flooding back this weekend amid the reports of the attacks in Paris.

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