Everyone now knows -- even German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- that she committed a political mistake in opening the doors of her country to more than a million migrants from the the Middle East, Africa and Asia. It was, politically, a triple mistake:
- Merkel may have thought that humanitarian motives (the war in Syria and Iraq, the refugee problem) could help Germany openly pursue a migration policy that was initially launched and conducted in the shadows.
- Merkel mainly helped to accelerate the defense mechanisms against the transformation of German society and culture into a "multicultural" space -- the "multi" being a segregated, Islamic way of life. The anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is now a big player on the German political scene.
- Merkel raised anxiety all over Europe about the migrant problem. She might even have encouraged the United Kingdom to Brexit and pushed central European countries such as Hungary to the point of seceding from the European Union.
For many years, Germany was the country in Europe most open to immigration. According to Eurostat, the official data body of the European Union, between 2005 to 2014, Germany welcomed more than 6 million people. 
Not all six million people came from Middle East. The vast majority of them, however, were not from Europe. Clandestine immigration is not, of course, included in these figures.
Other countries also participated in a migrant race. In the same time frame, 2005-2014, three million people immigrated to France, or around 300,000 people a year. In Spain, the process was more chaotic: more than 700,000 migrants in 2005; 840,000 in 2006; almost a million in 2007 and then a slow decrease to 300,000 a year up to 2014.
The "refugee crisis," in fact, helped to make apparent what was latent: that behind humanitarian reasons, a huge official immigration policy in Europe was proceeding apace. For economic reasons, Europe had openly decided years ago to encourage a new population to enter, supposedly to compensate for the dramatic projected shrinking of Europe's native population.
Thousands of migrants cross illegally into Slovenia on foot, in this screenshot from YouTube video filmed in October 2015.
According to population projections made by Eurostat in 2013, without migrants, Europe's population would decline from 507.3 million in 2015 to 399.2 million by 2080. In roughly 65 years, a hundred million people (20%) would disappear. Country by country, the figures seemed even were more terrifying. By 2080, in Germany, 80 million people today would become 50 million. In Spain, 46.4 million people would become 30 million. In Italy, 60 million would decline to 39 million.
Some countries would be more stable: by 2080, France, with 66 million in 2015 would grow to 68.7 million, and England, with 67 million in 2015, would shrink only to approximately 65 million.
Is migration in itself a "bad" thing? Of course not. Migration from low-income countries to higher-income countries is almost a law of nature. As long as the number of births and deaths remains larger than the number of migrants, the result is considered beneficial. But when migration becomes the major contributor to population growth, the situation changes and what should be a simple evolution becomes a revolution.
It is a triple revolution:
Because the number of migrants is huge. The 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects report states: "Between 2015 and 2050, total births in the group of high-income countries are projected to exceed deaths by 20 million, while the net gain in migrants is projected to be 91 million. Thus, in the medium variant, net migration is projected to account for 82 per cent of population growth in the high-income countries."
Because of the culture of the migrants. Most of them belong to a Muslim and Arabic (or Turkish) culture, which was in an old and historical conflict with the (still?) dominant Christian culture of Europe. And mainly, because this Muslim migration process happens at a historic moment of a radicalization of the world's Muslim population.
Because each European state is in position of weakness. In the process of building the European Union, national states stopped considering themselves as the indispensable integrator tool of different regional cultures inside a national frame. On the contrary, to prevent the return of large-scale chauvinistic wars such as World War I and World War II, all European nation-states engaged in the EU process and decided to program their own disappearance by transferring more and more power to a bureaucratic, unelected and untransparent executive Commission in Brussels. Not surprisingly, alongside Islamist troubles in all European countries, weak European states have now to cope with the strong resurgence of secessionist and regionalist movements, such as Corsica in France, Catalonia in Spain, and Scotland and Wales in United Kingdom.
Why did France, Germany and many other countries of the European Union opt for massive immigration, without saying it and without letting voters debate it? Perhaps because they thought a new population of taxpayers could help save their healthcare and retirement systems. To avoid the bankruptcy of social security and the social troubles of "dissatisfied retirees," the EU took the risk of transforming more or less homogenous nation-states into multicultural societies.
Politicians and economists seem blind to multicultural conflicts. They seem not even to suspect the importance of identity questions and religious topics. These questions belong to nations and since WW II, "the nation" is considered "bad." In addition, politicians and economists appear to think any cultural and religious problem is a secondary question. Despite the growing threat of Islamist terrorism (internal and imported from the Middle East), for example, they seem to persist in thinking that any violent domestic conflict can be dissolved in a "full-employment" society. Most of them seem to believe in U.S. President Barack Obama's imaginary jobs-for-jihadists solution to terrorism.
To avoid cultural conflicts (Muslim migrants vs non-Muslim natives) Germany could, of course, have imported people from the countries of Europe where there were no jobs: France, Spain, Italy. But this "white" workforce is considered "expensive" by big companies (construction, care-givers and all services...) who need cheap imported workers no matter the area (Middle East, Turkey, Northern Africa) they are coming from. Internal migration inside the EU would not have solved either the main problem of a projected shrinking European population as a whole. Added to that, in a world where competition is transferred partially from nations to global regions, the might of European countries might be thought to lie in their population numbers.
Can Europe borrow a Muslim population from Turkey, Northern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and become a European world power, based on a population that is multicultural and multi-religious?
In theory, one can do that. But to succeed and avoid being crossed, day after day, by racial and religious tensions, two essential questions about integration must be put on the table: 1) What do we ask of newcomers? And 2) What do we do to those who do not accept our conditions?
In other words, integration is an asymmetrical process where the newcomer is expected to produce the effort to adapt.
Of course, if the flow of migrants is big, the host society will change, but that is evolution; the sense of cultural and historical continuity will not be demanded into a decline.
In Europe, these two questions of integration were never asked of anyone. According to Michèle Tribalat, sociologist and demographer:
"EU countries agreed at the Council of 19 November 2004, on eleven common basic principles to which to commit. When it is question of integration they disclaim any asymmetry between the host society and newcomers. No privileges are granted to the Europeans or to their heritage. All cultures have the same citizenship. There is no recognition of a substantial European culture that it might be useful to preserve. The social bond is designed as a horizontal one, between the people in the game. Its vertical dimension in reference to history and to the past seems to be superfluous. They speak about values, but these values appear to be negotiable".
In France, in Germany, and in Sweden, it became rapidly clear that growing flow of a radicalized Muslim population began to change the rules of the integration game. The migrants did not have to "adapt" and are free to reproduce their religious and cultural habits. By contrast, the local "natives" were ordered not to resist "environmental" changes produced by immigration. When they tried to resist anyway, a political and media machine began to criminalize their "racist" behavior and supposed intolerance.
In the new migrant order, the host population is expected to make room for the newcomer and bear the burden of not what is "integration", but the acceptance of a coerced coexistence.
France's Archbishop Pontier declared to Le Monde in October 2016:
"We need people that we welcome to love France. If we always offer a negative view, they cannot love the country. However, if we see them as people who bring us something new, we get to grow together".
When "good feelings" did not work, however, the authorities have often criminalized and prosecuted anti-immigration critics. The Dutch politician Geert Wilders is currently on trial for trying to defend his country from Moroccan immigrants whose skyrocketing crime wave has been transforming the Netherlands.
He may go to jail for as long as a year and could be fined a maximum of €7,400 ($7,000 USD).
In France, the Paris prosecutor opened a preliminary investigation for an "apologia of terrorism" against the anti-immigration writer Eric Zemmour. In an interview with the magazine Causeur, published October 6, Zemmour said that "Muslims must choose" between France and Islam. He added that he had "respect for jihadists willing to die for what they believe." The Paris prosecutor chose to take this sentence out of context to prosecute him.
Will this double movement -- the injunction to love Islam plus criminalizing anti-Islam critics -- be enough to kill off any opposition to the EU's migration policy, and serve to Islamize the continent?
We shall find out.
Yves Mamou, based in France, worked for two decades as a journalist for Le Monde.
 Statistical breakdown:
- 707.352 migrants in 2005
- 661.855 in 2006
- 680.766 in 2007
- 682.146 in 2008
- 346.216 in 2009
- 404.055 in 2010
- 489.422 in 2011
- 592.175 in 2012
- 692.713 in 2013
- 884.893 in 2014