Experts in Torremolinos warn against the identity crisis spreading through Europe due to immigration

Experts in Torremolinos warn against the identity crisis spreading through Europe due to immigration

At a lecture organized by the Association of Friends of the University of Tel Aviv in Spain which took place yesterday in the Palace of Congress.


Torremolinos, 10th June 2016: Beyond the phenomenon of immigration which Europe is facing, the ancient continent also faces a challenge regarding its communal identity and values due to current migratory movements. ‘We remove borders between countries, but we put barriers between people’, a contradiction from which the European Union suffers when nation-states request to impose their own immigration policies.

In this context, the continent blames the resurgence of xenophobic parties, which before were waning, who make use the myths of job losses, risks to social welfare or the cultural identity of a country associated with immigration. ‘The current Islamic immigration provokes a psychological blow, but it is a matter of easy coordination if it is approached with a transnational policy and from a shared position’. ‘Immigration is economically good. Its benefit is greater than its cost’ in a Europe which is demographically aging at an accelerated rate. 

This is how Professor Alberto Spektorowski, from the University of Tel Aviv, defended it at the Lecture ‘Socio-Political and Cultural Impact of the new immigration in Europe’ which took place yesterday at Torremolinos’ Palace of Congress and Exhibitions. It was organized by the Association of Friends of the University of Tel Aviv in collaboration with the Torremolinos Town Hall. The Mayor of the locality, José Ortiz, hosted this forum in which the professors José María Gay de Liébana (University of Barcelona) and Teodoro León Gross (University of Málaga) also participated as speakers. Ortiz gave thanks for choosing Torremolinos as the setting for the event, describing it as an example of an ‘open, tolerant, multicultural and multi-ethnic city which wants to take a stance not only on tourism but also on culture’. In this context, he defended Torremolinos’ evolution towards a new model,‘ we want to be an open museum which displays Avant-Garde art and culture’ and a city of  coexistence in which 21% of the population is foreign, belonging to 170 nationalities of which 45% are from outside the EU.

Patricia Nahmad, president of the association, wanted to explain the function of the institution, which is involved in strengthening links between the University of Tel Aviv and Spain. The University of Tel Aviv, the biggest and most complete of Israel, is currently one of the highest ranked universities in the world and is the only one worldwide which is responsible for studying some rare diseases which plague the population nowadays. They have more than 2400 patents, and treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, tissue engineering for implants and organ repair, non-invasive methods for cancer detection and nano-submarines for drug delivery stand out amongst their most recent innovations.  

‘Europe is on its way to a radical liberalism and towards a protectionist democracy’, a situation which risks the ‘demonization’ of all immigration, warned Spektorowski. 

According to forecasts, migratory movement will mean the incorporation of three million people into Europe over the period of 2015-2017, noted Professor Gay de Liébana, a statistic which includes refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers.

Europe is “El Dorado” for many desperate economic immigrants, “they find a Europe that stands at a crossroads: it doesn’t know where it is, it doesn’t have a clear identity, it doesn’t know where we are going and it doesn’t have sustainable economic growth”. Gay de Liébana made reference to the concentration of attention from European organisations on the problems of Greece, the stability of the euro or the possibility of Brexit to explain the lack of European response to the immigration phenomenon. 

The European citizen feels a sense of ‘helplessness´ in the defence of the values of social and cultural integration of immigrants, expressed the Professor León Gross. “We are playing with new dimensions which are costing us the exit from the nation-state. We want to make immigration policies from the states. However, as is its nature, migration transcends domestic policies and requires transnational policies. We facilitate multinational businesses but we limit movement of people. We move with great contradictions”, he said.

MN Comunicación organised the event as well as being in control of the  guest list and communication.