MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Europe has fallen into its own trap: for years it has been attracting immigrants and now trying to grapple with the surge of migrants, former Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Thursday.
"Europe invited immigrants here, it attracts them, it opens the way for them," Klaus told the Czech O24 TV channel, adding that Europe itself has destroyed its internal borders and now does not know how to solve this problem.
In 2004, the European Union granted EU nationals freedom of movement within the union, triggering a further increase in the flow of immigrants from Eastern Europe, especially to Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The flow of non-EU immigrants also remains high.
Responding to the challenge, in 2006 the European Union announced a political course of integrating migrants of different cultures into Europe, known as multiculturalism. A number of European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced later that the policy of multiculturalism has failed.
The issues of both immigration and multiculturalism are hotly debated in Europe.