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Why “failed multiculturalism” sparks the need for extensive socio-cultural, demographic, political and economic changes - “PerEUstroika”?

, by Konstantin Manyakin

Nearly 30 years ago, Russia and other former USSR states entered an active phase of perestroika (restructuring), when Soviet society started to experience radical changes after deep socio-cultural, political, demographic and economic stagnation that lasted for over two decades.


  • author of “Multiculturalism in Western Europe: From Implementation to Failure”

Now in Europe, social and political landscapes are altering. Even liberal EU national leaders, one by one, openly state that “multiculturalism has failed” [1], reflecting xenophobic attitudes of mainstream societies towards immigrants and refugees amid recent terrorist attacks, high youth unemployment, welfare crisis and establishment of isolated ’cultural and economic ghettoes’ across the continent.

Nevertheless, many ignore the fact that before Global Recession hit in the late 2000s, multiculturalist policies economically contributed neo-liberal corporations to accumulate wealth by filling low skilled jobs, which civilians of non-EU origin were willing to take instead of nationals [2]. In addition, citizens of the non-EU descent were also effective demographic replacements in ageing European societies.

In case if massive deportations of non-integrated non-EU civilians and refugees happen without any supplementary plans, European governments risk their society, politics, economy and demographics to stagnate even more. In the upcoming EU council meetings, with solidarity and unity, leaders must develop long-term strategy for complex set of socio-cultural, demographic, economic and political reforms, if they prefer an option to dissolve multiculturalism completely and to abandon refugees, before launching the “PerEUstroika”.


In terms of socio-cultural reforms, the European governments must implement socially inclusive intercultural policies for Eastern and Southern Europeans, and especially Ukrainians who await visa-free regime with the EU. Western Europe will inevitably face more migration waves from debt-ridden Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal [3], and from poorer Visegrad countries along with Romania and Bulgaria, while Eastern European states will demand workers from Ukraine and former Balkan nations to fill the growing number of job vacancies amid their massive emigrations [4] [5] [6] . It means, people of various European origins will work and even start new families altogether. The novel social policies must promote cultural and linguistic exchange and tolerance in job places and public spaces, and demonstrate cases of effective contribution like how non-British White minorities actually help to boost the British economy [7], if the EU expects to decrease xenophobic sentiments among European cultural groups [8].


Demographic reforms is perhaps the biggest challenge that Europe will face to solve its problem of ageing societies and to boost its population growth. Furthermore, growing racism and xenophobia among the mainstream and politics push even the most leftist governments and parties to tighten integration and migration policies that encourage many young people of non-EU origins to leave or get deported [9] [10]. Nevertheless, there is an alternative, as the most current statistics reveal rising birth rates in Northern and Western European states, in comparison with the Southern European counterparts.

Even in Germany, which year ago suffered worse conditions of ageing than Japan [11], in recent months growing number of German couples announce pregnancies, birth of babies and happiness about being a parent [12] [13]. In parallel, German government plans to provide safety and support for pregnant women in workplaces [14].

In comparison, despite growing criticism of solidarity policies towards refugees, Swedish leftist coalition succeeded to provide generous family policies and to rank Sweden on top list of the highest fertility rates across the EU [15].

Very curious technique was demonstrated in Denmark by producing public videos that encourage ’babymaking’. The ultimate result of these ’sex ads’ – throughout the year, Danes started to give birth to more children [16] [17].

The EU leaders should express solidarity for creating new families by sharing their distinctive techniques and experiments. If the common strategy succeeds then European women will not worry about safety or discrimination in workplaces during pregnancy, and new families can get more guarantee of parental support from governments. Finally, there should be more state-funded social media, dating websites, vacation trips and public spaces for young people to help them meet their romantic partner. Also, under the influence of ’baby-making’ clips, songs and movies, new couples can express happiness and pride of long-lasting relationship, sex life and intimacy, getting pregnant and becoming a loving parent. Perhaps, feminists can also re-create an image of European woman who is successful in education, career, and being a wife and a mother, at the same time.


Countries such as Netherlands and Germany have high-tech and innovative industries that can initiate new “technological and scientific revolution”. The EU can use similar technique that was implemented for its “Infrastructure Investment Plan” [18] by unlocking private and public investments, in order to help young talents replace retiring entrepreneurs. Their innovative skills and ideas can create new workplaces for unemployed millennials, and at the same time, replace low-skilled migrant and refugee workers by advanced ROBOTS, which can do jobs more efficiently and with no real price [19].

At the same time, expressing tolerance and welcoming towards high-skilled migrants from other continents, can be supplementary method to fill job deficits [20]. Through cultural and business exchange, these ’overseas talents’ can help Europeans to diversify their skills and innovative ideas, and even accelerate the process of employing more people [21]. Such ’economic restructuring’ can provide the EU to reach status of technological, military [22] and space power that can compete against China, India and the USA, in fields of science, such as genetic research, and exploration of new stars and planets.


As globalization diminishes amid emerging economic protectionism, tribalisation [23] and nationalism on national and even regional levels then the European governments are left with no choice but to bring more political authority to the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Such approach can deal with local concerns of citizens and shape politics of preserving and supporting regional languages and customs, to promote “cultural harmony” and “united in diversity” across the whole EU.

In the upcoming EU council meetings, pragmatism among the leaders must dominate in dialogues on implementing reforms after “failed multiculturalism”. However, multi-dimensional collective policy of “PerEUstroika” needs to begin as soon as possible, before Brexit becomes an ultimate catalyst of all other ’Exits’.

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[1Kossen, E. (2016) “Rutte wil ‘verkrampt’ Nederland weer ‘gaaf maken’“. Elsevier, 20 May. Available at: http://www.elsevier.nl/nederland/achtergrond/2016/05/rutte-wil-van-nederland-gaafste-land-ter-wereld-maken-307797/

[2Ennaji, M. (2014) Muslim Moroccan Migrants in Europe: Transnational Migration in its Multiplicity. Page 146. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

[3Joseph, A. (2016) “EU migration to Germany hits record high as 685,000 Romanians, Poles and Bulgarian flock to the country in a YEAR”. Mail Online, 2 July. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3671430/EU-migration-Germany-hits-record-high-685-000-Romanians-Poles-Bulgarian-flock-country-YEAR.html

[4Pargan, B. (2016) “Young people in southeastern Europe need jobs“. Deutsche Welle, 17 April. Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/young-people-in-southeastern-europe-need-jobs/a-19194452

[5Sushko. I. and Kulchytska, K. (2015) “Is Ukraine a ’migration threat’ to the EU”. Euractiv, 8 October. Available at: https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/opinion/is-ukraine-a-migration-threat-to-the-eu/

[6The Economist (2015) “More Vacancies Than Visitors”. 19 September. Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21665031-eastern-europe-may-not-refugees-needs-them-more-other-countries-more-vacancies

[7Travis, A. (2014) ”UK gains £20bn from European migrants, UCL economists reveal”. The Guardian, 5 November. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/05/eu-migrants-uk-gains-20bn-ucl-study

[8Taylor, A. (2016) “Britain’s 850,000 Polish citizens face backlash after Brexit vote”. The Washington Post, 28 June. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/28/britains-850000-polish-citizens-face-backlash-after-brexit-vote/

[9Randall, C. (2015) ’Muslims leave France for ‘UAE dream’’. The National, 29 March. Available at: http://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/muslims-leave-france-for-uae-dream

[10Knight, B. (2016) “Germany turning away and deporting more migrants”. Deutsche Welle, 9 July . Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/germany-turning-away-and-deporting-more-migrants/a-19461521

[11BBC (2015), “Germany passes Japan to have world’s lowest birth rate – study”. 29 May. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32929962

[12Shtrauchler, N. (2016) “Poll: Regrets? German parents increasingly have a few”. Deutsche Welle, 31 July. Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/poll-regrets-german-parents-increasingly-have-a-few/a-19440574

[13Luyken, J. (2015) “German birthrate jumps to quarter-century high”. The Local, 16 December. Available at: http://www.thelocal.de/20151216/mini-baby-boom-hits-germany

[14Zuvela, M. (2016)”Added protections for expecting and nursing mothers pass German cabinet”. Deutsche Welle, 4 May. Available at: http://www.dw.com/en/added-protections-for-expecting-and-nursing-mothers-pass-german-cabinet/a-19233866

[15The Local (2016) "Swedes are Europe’s third best baby-makers”. 16 March. Available at: http://www.thelocal.se/20160316/swedes-are-europes-third-best-baby-makers

[16McCoy, T. (2014) “‘Do it for Denmark!’ campaign wants Danes to have more sex. A lot more sex”. Washington Post, 24 March. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/03/27/do-it-for-denmark-campaign-wants-danes-to-have-more-sex-a-lot-more-sex/

[17Sims, A.(2016) "Denmark’s bizarre series of sex campaigns lead to baby boom”. The Independent, 2 June. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/denmark-s-bizarre-series-of-sex-campaigns-lead-to-baby-boom-a7062466.html

[18Investment Plan - EU Commission. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/jobs-growth-and-investment/investment-plan_en

[19Overdorf, J. (2015) ’Robots, not immigrants, could take half of German jobs’. The Week, 10 February. Available at: http://theweek.com/articles/534851/robots-immigrants-could-take-half-german-jobs

[20European Commission (2016) “Delivering the European Agenda on Migration: Commission presents Action Plan on Integration and reforms ’Blue Card’ scheme for highly skilled workers from outside the EU”. 7 June. Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-2041_en.htm

[21Tharoor, I. (2016) “Immigrants helped create 1.3 million jobs in Germany, study finds”. The Washington Post, 11 August. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/08/11/immigrants-helped-create-1-3-million-jobs-in-germany-study-finds/

[22Sparrow, A. (2015) “Jean-Claude Juncker calls for EU army”. The Guardian, 8 March. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/08/jean-claude-juncker-calls-for-eu-army-european-commission-miltary

[23Debeuf, K. (2015) “Tribalisation, or the end of globalisation”. EUobserver, 8 December. Available at: https://euobserver.com/opinion/131413