Matthew Feeney on How Government Intervention Stifles Immigrants in Europe


Credit: Fin Fahey/wikimedia

Last week, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso expressed concern over the rise of nationalist, xenophobic, and protectionist rhetoric in Europe and the possibility that populist parties could gain seats in next year's European Parliament elections.

Barroso's concerns are well founded. Across Europe, Eurosceptic and nationalist parties have increased in popularity. Unfortunately for Barroso and many of his fellow European lawmakers, the rise of ignorant, populist, and sometimes violent xenophobic parties and movements in Europe is to a large degree a consequence of government policies, which, Matthew Feeney argues, do little to help promote social cohesion and actually restrict the economic potential offered by immigrants.