While proponents of helping the refugees streaming across the EU’s border–proponents like German chancellor Angela Merkel–appeal to their European counterparts and publics with a humanitarian argument, Europe’s reliance on economic migrants is often overlooked.  In a country like Germany, with an aging population and declining birth rate, migrants are an essential part of the workforce and economy.  Ian Buruma, Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College, examines the reactions across Europe to the migration crisis and the economic reality many EU countries are facing in this article from Project Syndicate.

BERLIN How heartwarming it is to land in Germany, where football fans hold up banners welcoming refugees from the war-ravaged Middle East. Germany is the new Promised Land for the desperate and downtrodden, the survivors of war and pillage.

Even the popular German tabloids, not normally of a do-gooding disposition, are promoting a willingness to help. While politicians in the United Kingdom and other countries wring their hands and explain why even a relatively minor influx of Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, or Eritreans constitutes a lethal danger to the social fabric of their societies, “Mama Merkel” promised that Germany would not reject any genuine refugee.

Continue reading at Project Syndicate.