The leaders in Paris, Berlin and Brussels are watching how a largely uncontrolled migration moves past the labor market in the direction of social security funds. In doing so, they ensure that a topic with high social explosive power becomes more and more explosive.
There is also the Sleeping Beauty in the world of politics, just waiting to be kissed awake. This includes winning topics such as start-up culture and digitization. Those who can position themselves as reformers here will be richly rewarded with popularity. Christian Lindner showed how this works.
And there is the Sleeping Beast in the world of politics. This refers to those topics that promise little glamor and a lot of trouble. This includes asylum policy and all issues relating to migration. When Armin Laschet held the position of integration minister in Jürgen Rüttgers’ cabinet, he was ridiculed from then on as a Turkish Armin. When the asylum paragraph in the Basic Law was changed in 1993 – critics say it was tightened – there were demonstrations and blockades in Bonn’s government district.
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In Germany, only those personalities are appointed as foreigners’ commissioners who do not have their own power base and therefore have to remain ineffective in everyday political life. Since 2021, Reem Alabali-Radovan – SPD Minister with Iraqi roots – has been doing this thankless work because it is designed to be fruitless.
In the US, President Joe Biden made his deputy, Kamala Harris, the commissioner for migration, which was viewed by the public as great meanness. It is difficult to succeed in this job, especially as a soloist. Since then, their popularity ratings have plummeted.
In the EU, the still unknown Ylva Johansson is responsible for portfolio migration. The Swede, who ended up in Brussels as a Euro-Communist in 1988, is willfully powerless because migration issues have to be decided not by the Commission but by the Council of Heads of Government.
This is why, of all things, a topic with high social, economic and cultural explosive power continues to be enriched with explosive content. The leaders in Paris, Rome, Berlin or Brussels are watching how a largely uncontrolled migration is moving past the labor market in the direction of the social security funds. The problem is not the individual migrant, but the lack of efforts to integrate, including those of society.
Here are the seven facts that we must not be indifferent to:
Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the newsletter The Pioneer Briefing. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. Since May 2020, Steingart has been working with his editorial staff on the ship “The Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, Chairman of the Management Board of the Handelsblatt Media Group. You can subscribe to his free newsletter here.
Conclusion: The problems do not become smaller by concealing and glossing over, but bigger. The Sleeping Beast feels most comfortable in the penumbra of a public spiral of silence. It is fattened by political passivity, including that of the well-meaning.