New Migration Realities

Community: discovering ties that bind

20 May 2016

Europe faces an unprecedented maelstrom. The fallout from the financial crash has stoked anger at a system perceived to be stacked against hardworking citizens.

Frans Timmermans

The refugee crisis has overwhelmed in some areas and fuelled fear and hate in others. The recent barbaric terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels serve as a shocking reminder of the threat from fundamentalists hell bent on destroying our way of life. A near perfect storm that imperils the peace, security and liberty of all.

How should European societies respond? That is the key question that Frans Timmermans sets out to answer in this extended thinkpiece. He ponders the difference between boundaries
and barriers and asks how we can foster stronger communities within our society. His
conclusion is one of optimism: that a bright future will prevail if we can discover the ties that
bind and have the courage to see interconnectedness as an opportunity not a threat.

To mark the launch of the essay in English, Frans Timmermans wrote for the New Statesman.