Immigrants Bring Challenge of Multiculturalism to European Countries

March 3, 2004

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,2720665.story

On March 3, 2004 the Los Angeles Times reported, "A demographic revolution is changing the face of Europe. Declining birthrates, coupled with growing immigration, mean the end of ethnic homogeneity for Europe's traditional nation-states. Also, Europe's predominantly Christian population must get used to the idea of intermixing with Muslims; with immigrants flowing in from Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, mosques and halal butchers are taking their place alongside cathedrals and charcuteries. Integrating minorities into European society is perhaps the single most important challenge facing the European Union. Multiethnic society does not come easily to Europe. Until recent reforms, Germany defined citizenship through ethnicity rather than birthplace or residency, leaving, say, German-born Turks without a true sense of belonging. France has long embraced a more inclusive notion of citizenship, but many French continue to distinguish between citizens of French stock (français de souche) and others."