European Union doesn’t reject the multicultural support


March 17, 2011

European Union doesn’t reject the multicultural support

Ukrainians are called to tolerate other nationalities. Such statements were heard at the international conference “Tolerance and response to political extremism: international and Ukrainian experience.” Although recently some of the leading European politicians argue about the failure of multicultural policy, members of the conference think the opposite. Thus, MEP Martin Schulz stressed the need to maintain interethnic and interpolitical tolerance in Europe as a trend, and connected the reduction of tolerance in Ukraine and in the world with the consequences of the economic crisis.  

Chair of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, calls to cherish the national identity and at the same time not to deviate from the principles of tolerance. In his speech in Kiev, the German politician suggested in particular that tolerance in any of its manifestations and the standard of living in the country are closely related. The lower the income - the higher the probability of intolerance, says Mr. Schulz.

“People know that democratic promises of equality end with politicians making decisions that affect the middle - and the low- waged people the most and don’t affect the rich. Then the concept of democracy is being associated with social injustice. And it is not a secret that the easiest way to satisfy this feeling is to find “scapegoats” which are to blame. And mostly, they are among the minority, who can be easily blamed of the fact that something doesn’t work”, - says Martin Schulz.

Failure of the multicultural policy was stated in Europe. Thus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted late last year that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany “completely failed.” Later, British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that the “state multicultural doctrine” was unable to demonstrate people the society where they want to live.

Director of the International European Research Institute (Luxembourg), Armen Kless said not to accept the above-mentioned expressions of the leaders of Germany and Britain as the position of the EU.

“The majority recognizes these statements because it pays attention to what doesn’t work very well. However for some reason no one talks about Europe’s achievements in this question. Of course, it is easier to criticize the complicated model instead of improving it. As for the statements - only some politicians can talk about this. Europe as a whole will never admit that the multicultural policy has failed,” the expert adds.  

As for the tolerance of minorities in Ukraine, during the last few years the index of xenophobia stayed on the same level, as evidenced by the surveys of the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. However, head of KIIS Vladimir Paniotto notes that last index is the highest since the mid 90’s and suggests that it may decline. “During the last three years there was some kind of stabilization, we don’t see any changes in the level of xenophobia. Why is this happening? It is hard to say. Perhaps because it has already increased to the maximum level,” he says.

President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych stressed on the inadmissibility of xenophobia and intolerance in Ukraine. He also called for political tolerance - particularly after MPs of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Party Regions fought near the Parliament in December.