_ Dr. Vaclav Klaus, economist, Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998 and President of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013, CEO, Vaclav Klaus Institute. Garmisch Patenkirchen, 14 April 2023.
The issue of mass migration is more than important. I find it fundamental. It is not a marginal phenomenon. It affects the very basis of our society. Mass migration is changing our society We are in a qualitatively new era of humanity, which I call the migration era. People have always migrated, but you have to distinguish individual migration and mass migration.
The topicality of the phenomenon of mass migration has been kept hidden in the shadows of the Covid epidemic, the Green Deal, the energy crisis and the Ukrainian war in recent years. Migration has advanced significantly during this time, only people had other concerns. Today, the threat associated with mass migration is visible again, as shown for example by the situation in France in recent days.
Now we have not only the old migration. We also have a new migration related to the Ukrainian war. Germans certainly feel this migration too, but the situation in Central and Eastern Europe is much more dramatic. My home country, the Czech Republic, is number one in the whole world in the number of Ukrainian migrants per capita. Ukrainians already make up 5 per cent of the total population in our country. Every tenth inhabitant of the Czech Republic is a foreigner today, which is not so different from Germany.
This fast-growing amount of migrants is changing the atmosphere in the country, in our towns and villages and especially in our schools. I use the word migrants on purpose. Also, from Ukraine – as from all other countries – come not the most affected people, not the really life-threatened, but the more flexible, more adaptive people who are better prepared for migration emotionally and often financially. That is why I say migrants, not refugees. They are, unfortunately, warmly welcomed by the government. Our government today also follows Angela Merkel’s motto: “We can do it” as well as the ideology that goes with it.
But the certainty that we can really do this is starting to weaken, especially with our current budget deficit and high inflation. In the past, the Czech Republic has not been the main destination for migrants. They have preferred Germany, France and other Western European countries. Therefore, mass migration is something quite new for us. Nevertheless, it is clear that today’s Ukrainian migration was also founded on the well-known principles and that it has similar consequences and implications.
The mass migration of the current era did not fall from the sky. It has been ideologically prepared and pragmatically organized. For a long time now, we have been witnessing the continuous transformation of European society and the gradual elimination of European culture, traditions and values. Mass migration is used as the most important instrument in this process.
I have given many speeches and written essays on this topic around the world in recent years. Together with my colleague Jiří Weigl, we summarized a small book – entitled “Völkerwanderung” – in 2016 and also published it in Germany. The book has since been translated into eight European languages and published there.
The main thesis of the book is clear, direct and also relevant for today’s situation: mass migration, and its far-reaching negative consequences for the future of European society, were not caused by the migrants, but by European politicians – with German politicians in the lead. This is precisely what should be said out loud, especially here in Germany. I know that this assertion is a very politically incorrect statement. It is more incorrect in your country than in mine.
The majority of European and especially German leaders – with their belief in the thoroughly beneficial effects of the unlimited diversity of people for a national community living together and with their belief in the completely positive and enriching influences of migrants, their ideas, their religion and their habits – have been inviting the migrants for long decades. That is the only reason why the migrants are there.
I am afraid that European politicians want to create a new European man, a “homo bruxelarum”, out of today’s migrants. This new European man will have (and need) no nation, no fatherland. I find this to be the real motivation and ambition of these politicians.
I have long described today’s mass migration, which I believe I am justified in calling mass migration, as a threat to European civilization and culture, a threat to freedom and democracy, and not least a threat to European prosperity. It represents dangerous damage to our lives, our quality of life, our traditions and habits.
The people who propagate mass migration are on the offensive, while the silent majority of ordinary people remain on the defensive. We must resolutely say “NO” out loud to mass migration and repeat this permanently. The idea of multiculturalism organized from above is absolutely wrong.
Your country plays the most important role in this respect. Germany is – from my point of view – the battlefield of Europe today. It is here in Germany, and not in the smaller countries of Europe, where today’s European dilemma, today’s conflict about the future of Europe, will be resolved – or not.
Can we expect something positive from your country? I am not sure. I see changing the atmosphere in Germany as impossible in the short and medium term. No party other than the AfD is prepared to say “NO” to mass migration and multiculturalism.
I know the German saying “optimism is a duty”. Nevertheless, I allow myself to remain pessimistic. I am not an insider here. In the last 30-plus years, that is, after the fall of communism, I have mostly spoken to German politicians here in Germany, not to ordinary people. I have never been here as a holidaymaker. In the political “class” I see no, or only very little hope.
My pessimism, but I prefer the word realism, is linked to the absence of democracy in the EU. We live in a post-democracy, which the progressives call liberal democracy.
I started my political career 33 years ago with the slogan “market economy without adjectives”. We should use the same slogan now – we need “democracy without adjectives”. Is it feasible? For democracy, you need a nation-state, not the European Union. The eventual reshaping of thinking would demand the transformation of the European Union, the return to the roots of European integration (as the community of states) and especially the elimination of the modifications caused by the Maastricht Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty.
I am not a naïve revolutionary who proposes or expects a radical change. I am saying something different. I am saying that we cannot realize the stop of mass migration without such changes.