Even though Europe is a landmass, there are


Even though Europe is a landmass, there are no physical
borders to how or where European culture can be practiced. Diaspora, which
originated from an ancient Greek phrase, originally used to refer to Jews
living in exile, now refers to the spreading of people from a country of origin
to another, whilst still identifying themselves as being from their original
country. “It could be argued that Europeans are the worlds largest Diaspora,
with an estimated population of over 480 million people” (Brilliant Maps, 2015 (1))


The African Diaspora in Europe originated thousands of years
ago when Africa was still being explored. Even with today’s situation, the
primary destination for African migrants is the European countries with Mediterranean
coastline. European citizenship is a sought after right due to its large flexibility
of movement as well as the benefits of a better lifestyle, life expectancy and
higher GDP. There is evidence of African descendants living in Europe during
the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans due to exploration and trade.
Throughout the time of colonisation in Africa, many European began trading with
local African tribes and helped create a sense of community thus leading many
European countries to claim African countries with valuable resources. “Today
more Africans and African descendants are integrated into European society, but
problems continue to exist within different areas of society” (Cultural1dipolmacy.org,
2007 (2)). The problems with Diaspora are numerous, including a
sense of displacement, un-belonging, isolation and nostalgia. There is a large
sense of cultural diversity between a European citizen and a person of African
origin. It is evident that the Afro-European community has changed both the
ethnic and cultural face of Europe; 1% of European citizens are of African
descent, in conjunction with an increase of interracial marriages has impacted
the ethnic face of Europe. Adding to this, due to the sense of displacement and
nostalgia, many Africans integrate themselves in society by speaking the
language, but maintain their African roots through traditional religious/tribal
practices, cuisine and dress; it is not uncommon to see shops with African
ingredients as well as seeing many people still wearing traditional African
dresses throughout Europe.

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Migration and
Immigration are two of the biggest factors why both the ethnic and
cultural face of Europe is forever changing. There are 9 main types of
migration, the most common include, economic, forced and survival migration. On
1st April 2004, 10 countries joined the EU, most of whom were countries from
the previous Soviet Bloc. “Every citizen
of the Union shall have the right to move and reside freely within the
territory of the Member States, subject to limitations laid down in the
Treaties and by the measures adopted to give it effect” (Free Movement of
Persons, Article 21(3))/”Freedom of movement for workers shall be
secured within the community” (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,
Article 45, ….(4)) Both of these statements allow for the
movement of persons within the European Union for the purpose of employment and
improving their lives, without difficulty. The British Government predicted
that 15,000 people from the Eastern Bloc countries that joined in 2004 would
move to the UK, however, by July 2006, 447,000 people had applied to work in
the UK, 62% of which were
from Poland. Poles have been immigrating to the UK since the war; the majority has been economic migration in order
to gain a better job and improve their standard of living; Poland had an unemployment rate of 18.5%, whilst the unemployment
rate in the UK was 5.1%. Additionally, the GDP per capita was $18,200
more in the UK than Poland. The migration from Poland to England has changed
both the cultural face and ethnic face of the UK. The number of Polish migrants
as well as other European citizens leaving the UK has increased since the
Brexit vote in June 2016; net migration to the UK has decreased to 248,000 the
lowest for three years (The Guardian, 2017).  Last year, there was a net migration of 5,000 from the A8
countries, the lowest number since they joined the EU in 2004, impacting not
only the livelihoods of those who have previously migrated and created a life
for themselves in a foreign country, as
well as a decrease in the number of foreign nationals in a multilingual
country, will impact on British society.



The demographics
have also changed drastically; according to the 2016 consensus the
Polish population has increased by 845,000 over 15 years (2001-2016). It is
evident that Polish culture is emerging within British society due to the vast
number of grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants where Polish products
are now commonly stocked, as well as institutions like the Polish Cultural Centre
and 10 polish churches in London, in
addition, traffic signs in villages in Cheshire being translated into
their language; thus aiding a change in European culture. It is possibly due to
the ever-growing number of marriages between Polish and British, that there is
a flourishing influence on British Culture, creating an interest in Polish
music, films and literature. However, this influence by foreign migrants is not
just a concept in Britain, but throughout Europe. It is not just the influence
that the Polish have had on Britain, but also the Scandinavian countries; it is
growing ever more popular for Scandinavian TV shows to be aired on British
channels; such as The Bridge and Borgen.



Forced migration is also a large part of modern day
migration as people try to flee political injustice. The Roma (or Romani
Gypsies) are a problematic political topic, there is a population of 10-12
million Roma in Europe, making them Europe’s largest and most marginalised
ethnic minority. Due to their nomadic history, their culture has been
discriminated against leading them to be distrusted and expelled from some
communities. It was because of these threats to their lives that the Roma
moved. Romani history is one of true hardship and difficulty; 1385 marked the
first recorded transaction of a Romani slave. Romani people were then expelled
from countries such as Germany, Sweden, Catalonia Italy, England and Denmark
between 1416-1536, until a later statute was passed in England and France
giving them privileges other travellers weren’t allowed. In Slovakia, 70% of the children in institutional care are Romani
children. It is not only this, but also the poor medical treatment of Romani
women that aided the migration; in Czechoslovakia, Roma were labelled as
“Socially degraded stratum”. During the time of communism in Czechoslovakia, Roma
women were coercively sterilised as part of state policy to reduce their
population; consisting of a hysterectomy at the same time as childbirth, and
were offered financial inducements to do so. Financial incentives for
sterilisation ended in 1991 after the change to a democratic government,
however, it became evident in 2005 after an official inquiry that health care
providers continued to undertake sterilisation operations during the 21st
Century. The majority of Europe’s Roma population live in the Eastern European
states and continue to face prejudice, exclusion from mainstream education and
healthcare, as well as being perceived as intolerable, therefore having limited
prospects for the future. Europe created a “Decade of Roma Inclusion”
(2005-2015), however, this has not helped the Roma community as they are still
discriminated against. “Active inclusion
means enabling every citizen, notably the most disadvantaged, to fully
participate in society, including having a job” (Europa.eu, 2008). In conjunction with the Decade of Roma
inclusion, this should allow Roma to be aided in some way, be it
educational or financially by the European Government, however, they remain
unaided. The discrimination against the Roma people has been evident in Europe
for decades, if not centuries, yet it is the continued discrimination that is
aiding a change in Europe’s culture; there is a European community feel
however, it is








It is not only due to migration, but also because of the people
willing to learn of different cultures and traditions that the demographics of
Europe are changing. In 2013-2014, 272,000 Students and 57,000 staff took part
in the Erasmus scheme that launched in 1987. Labour migration is the movement
of persons from one state to another for the purpose of employment. It is
common, for a student, who has taken part in the Erasmus scheme to then
emigrate to another country for the purpose of work as well as for the
possibility of being with a partner. It is due to this, and the relationships
with foreign nationals, that in 2014, it was announced that the Erasmus scheme
was responsible for its 1 millionth baby. This aids a change in both the ethnic
face and cultural face of Europe, as a result of reduced communication barriers
between people from various heritage and backgrounds leading to a relationship,
it can change Europe ethnically, as well as culturally by introducing a single
person to at least 2 different nationalities and national traditions, thus
creating a move diverse Europe with a broader outlook on people.



There are various ways in which a person can claim to be European;
fundamental to this are Jus Soli and Jus Sanguinis. Jus Soli, meaning ‘the
right of soil’, allows anyone born within that country to claim citizenship,
however, since 1983 countries
such as Germany, France, Greece and the United Kingdom have restricted this
principle.  “At least one parent
must be a British citizen or be legally “settled” in the country or upon the 10th
Birthday of the child regardless of their parents citizenship status” (British
Nationality Act, 1983).


Jus Sanguinis, meaning ‘the right of blood’, is the
principle of being able to claim citizenship where at least one of your parents
is a citizen. Both of these principles have an impact on how the cultural and
ethnic face of Europe is changing. Due to the Brexit vote of 2016, it has also
lead to an increase of British nationals seeking a tie with a foreign national
in order to claim a passport from a EU country in order to make travelling
easier. Given the current migrant situation, there are examples of where a
pregnant migrant woman has given birth in a foreign country, allowing her child
to then claim citizenship within that country. This then has a direct link to
the cultural face of that country, as it is easy for them to remain and grow up
in that country, bringing cultures of various origins outside Europe with them.


Adding to this, Jus Soli will also have an effect on the number
of migrants able to claim Jus Sanguinis due to migrant parents. Due to the
number of migrants entering Italy after being rescued from the Mediterranean,
claiming citizenship through Jus Soli, the Italian government has faced
controversy. Jus Soli was accepted by Italy’s lower house in 2015, and is being
debated by its upper house with the support of the centre left. Italy’s
anti-immigrant Northern region has titled the acceptance of migrants as a
“cultural mistake”. “Making it known that its easier to become Italian will
create false hopes in Africa and increase migratory pressures” (Silvio
Berlusconi, Breibart, 2017). The effect that both of these principles will have
and is having on Europe, means both the cultural and ethic face is changing,
and will remain that way for generations to come. Italy experienced an influx
of migrants in 2015, with 138 asylum applications per 100,000 people of the
local population, a statistic below the EU average; “1799 refugees per 100,000
of Hungary’s local population claimed asylum in 2015” (BBC, 2016). This influx
of people has increased the rate at which societies and cultures in Europe are
changing; this is due to the introduction of new forms of culture, including
variations on cuisine, language, customs and religion to what is the norm for a
European country.


The Refugee Crisis of 2014 has been an overarching theme
that has not left the news for 4 years. It is newsworthy, due to the numbers of
migrants that have moved around and entered Europe, both legally and illegally.
Since 2011, there has been an increased level of survival migration to Europe
from conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East. “Everyone has the right to
seek and enjoy other countries asylum from persecution” “Refugees should not be
returned to countries where they risk persecution” (Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, Article 14, 1948).  In 2014, there were 630,000 asylum requests to the European
Union, the highest since 1992 as well as well over 1 million people migrating
to Europe and claiming asylum in 2015. The continuing conflict in Syria remains
the main factor for first time asylum applicants with just over 350,000 Syrians
applying for asylum in the EU in 2015, followed by the number of applications
from Afghanistan and Iraq due to the ongoing violence. In 2015, Germany
received the highest number of new asylum applicants with more than 476,000
claims. These figures however, only count for the number of applicants who have
gone through a legal application, and not counted for the number of illegal
migrants who have passed through various countries in order to reach a final
destination. The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) estimates that
more than 1,011,700 migrants arrived into Europe by sea and almost 34,900 by
land in 2015 alone, again, these figures don’t include those who have gone
undetected. Within these figures, there is the minority of radicalists who pose
a threat to European culture and civilisations due to extremist beliefs. The
migrant crisis has aided the development of terrorist threats within Europe due
to a small minority of those migrants who came undetected wanting to undertake
various types of crime. “The crime rate among migrants in Germany rose by more
that 50% last year according to new figures”, ” The number of suspected crimes
by refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants rose to 174,438 in 2016 – an
increase of 52.7%, according to the interior ministry” (Telegraph, 2017).


After a terrorist attack, carried out by French,
Berber-Moroccan and Syrian nationals, in Paris, France on 13th-14th
November 2015, where 130 people died and 368 people were injured, the French government
raised their terror threat level. In addition to this, Great Britain raised
their terror level from severe to critical on 23rd My 2017 after the
bombing at Manchester Arena, that was carried out by a Syrian national. The
outcome of acts such as these is that, native inhabitants, who previously felt
safe in their home country, no longer will and anti migrant feelings and suspicions,
are heightened. This impacts their daily life, as they may no longer feel safe,
as the world around them, their culture and community is changing because of
foreign nationals who don’t believe in the same European values. Contrary to
popular belief, the Migrants who come to Europe in order to carry out threats
to society are a minority, there are those migrants who come to Europe, purely
to seek a better life.


It is evident that the Migrant Crisis has changed the
‘cultural face of Europe due to the political imbalance between their faith and
the faiths of the countries they are migrating to. Throughout Europe, Catholicism
plays a vital role in many countries, from Spain in the West to Poland in the East;
however, the majority of migrants are coming from Syria, Eritrea and
Afghanistan, where the main religion is Islam. It is without a doubt that the
majority of Muslims live peacefully within Europe, however, in the migrant
crisis, there are those with extremist beliefs that have been able to gain
access to foreign countries; therefore causing controversy within European
society.  There are liberal
internationalists who believe in fundamental asylum principles (SUCH AS) and the dream of a
‘borderless world’. However, this is then contradicted by the xenophobic, who
see modern migration as an invasion that threatens to erode their cultures and
civilisations. It is not only the action of migrants that is leading to a
change in European culture, but also the reactions of native inhabitants as
well. With migration being such a largely discussed topic in the news, and
hearing where these migrants are coming from as well as their faith, it is easy
for the indigenous people to blame every terror threat or problem that is aired
on the news, on the migrants; due to the community feel within Europe, it is
hard to believe that there is a possibility of a French national to then have
ties to Syrian extremists, making the native then pose a threat to the French
community. In many places in Europe, there is no longer a feel of a common
European culture due to various ideologies that are currently ‘in play’ in Europe.


To conclude,




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