Podcast: Does Europe’s track record on national minorities threaten its multi-cultural future?

In this podcast, Athanasia Spiliopoulou Åkermark analyses Europe’s track record on diversity, as she discusses the riots in Sweden and attacks on migrants in Greece.

The President of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) also challenges the belief that a wider appreciation of migrants’ contribution to European prosperity would encourage a more favourable attitude towards them.

She says: “The economic paradigm or justification for the respect of human rights is very deceiving. Europe has never respected people because of their contribution [to the GNP] or because of their contribution to the well-being.

“It is shocking that old minorities that have existed in our societies for centuries are excluded. How do you expect societies which have not been able to do anything about groups that have existed for ages to act sensibly towards the newcomers. There is a clear link between how we think about the old groups and what we do about the new ones. We have a mental blockage towards multiplicity, towards diversity and integration.”

The Essential

Information: Framework Convention On National Minorities (FCNM)

Podcast: What’s wrong with Europe’s Roma policies?

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