by Robin Chater – Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers and Stefanie Claudia Müller
Accroding to the book “The Roots of Prejudice” by Arnold Rose prejudice is essentially a rational reaction to a world where demand for opportunities outstrips supply. If you are a white male and you can persuade your employer to consider females and non-white job applicants as inherently inferior then your own chances of securing a desired job are immediately increased. In the current wave of apparent hatred for foreigners spreading across Europe it can be so easily seen how those with limited life chances will always be the best hunting ground for nationalist causes. The reason huge sections of society support limitations on immigration is seldom due to pure xenophobia – but because they are being led to believe by right wing political parties that foreigners primarily threaten the jobs, houses and welfare benefits of native blue and lower white collar workers. Such parties take what is essentially a good human quality – patriotism – and pervert it by providing a new way to express the feeling of love for one’s country – the rejection of those who “threaten” it from outside.
Of course, few large employers welcome tight immigration restrictions. But this is not necessarily because corporate entities are egalitarian or really believe in the principle of “equal opportunities” as a moral cause. The dislike of quotas and other curbs on foreign workers is largely a wish to maximize the supply of available talent. In fact, from my own experience it often pays to move against the tide of popular prejudice – as so many of the most suitable applications that cross my desk are from the very groups that have traditionally experienced the greatest discrimination.
There is a fear that the awakening of “gut patriotism” is giving rise to a broader rejection of all things foreign – including membership of international organizations. In an increasingly interconnected world, problems in other countries will not go away because a country isolates itself – the problems will simply spread more easily because they are not being resolved through global initiatives. Moreover, leaving free market associations like the European Union will make the departing state less attractive for trade and investment – thus impoverishing those who reside there.
We are all called to stop racism and improve integration and help people all over the world to find a future in their countries. Planet-bpm.com helps with jobsallovereurope.com refuguees to integrate in the European labour market. Send us your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and register on jobsallovereurope.com.