- Apr 19, 2016
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Good Afternoon. Jose Manuel Barroso, the former European Commission President and the former Prime Minister of Portugal gave a presentation in December 2015 in Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Relations where he mentioned the presidential election:
So xenophobic forces exist in Europe. When you know the history of Europe and old demons, I think we should be attentive to that. How to fight this xenophobia? How to be sure that we keep Europe open, at the same time that we are able to control our borders?
My question to you is the following: Do you think it is only a European problem there? Don't you have that problem here in the United States? When we see a leading candidate in the presidential race making the comments he made about Mexicans or just the position he took now against all Muslims?
So, my dear friends, we are living in a very difficult and complex world, where globalization is, in fact, feeding this kind of nationalistic, nativist, xenophobic, sometimes racist attitudes. This is a problem not only for Europe, for many of us who believe in ethics in international relations. We have to fight together against those negative sentiments that have a very deep history in some of our societies.
Yes, there is a problem in Europe, but it is not a specific problem to Europe. The solution, as we have seen now with the tragic events in San Bernardino, is not to close European borders. The United States is in full control of the borders. But it can happen to you. If you have suicide bombers, fanaticized, they can be anywhere, even if you close your borders.
So we have to see how deep this issue is and try to avoid simplistic, populist answers to very complex and difficult challenges. It is not by closing Schengen. On the contrary. It is by Schengen that we can fight, because terrorists don't respect borders. It is precisely by changing intelligence and information, putting together the national resources against terrorism, that we can succeed in the fight against this kind of violent jihadism that we have today as the major threat not only to Europe, but to the world and to our values.