Election special: a survey of relevant results and themes in national and local elections from October 2006 to May 2007 in a selection of European countries

Document type
Report
Corporate author(s)
Institute of Race Relations
Publisher
Institute of Race Relations
Date of publication
1 June 2007
Series
European race bulletin; 60
Subject(s)
Minority Groups, Community Development and Regeneration
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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This edition of the European race bulletin looks at local and national election results across Europe from October 2006 to May 2007 within the context of the immigration debate. The call for a path to citizenship for long-term, refused asylum-seekers and visa overstayers, made by the Strangers to Citizens campaign in the UK, had a wide impact, becoming part of the Labour Party’s deputy leadership contest, with three of the six candidates declaring themselves in favour of the idea. However, powerful voices within the Labour Party warned against the perils of such an approach stating that such regularisation of failed asylum seekers could potentially be an election loosing factor. Yet, this edition of the European race bulletin shows that trends across Europe seem to demonstrate that the corrosive influence of anti-immigration parties and the extreme-Right on issues of migration and asylum may be on the wane, in some parts of Europe at least, offering potential for the vision of Strangers into Citizens and like-minded campaigns. However, extreme-Right parties are now pitching into Muslim communities with ever greater aggression, calling for bans on the hijab and on the construction of minarets on mosques. Debates about national values are descending into McCarthyite witch hunts. As the Islamic scare replaces the red scare, Europe’s Muslim communities are becoming more stigmatised and more vulnerable than ever.

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