Insight – Europe’s Immigration Dilemma, Channel NewsAsia, 5 October 2017

Dean of International & Professional Experience Dr Trisha Craig was interviewed on Channel NewsAsia‘s current affairs programme – Insight – for her expert comments on the immigrant crisis which led to the resurgence of far-right nationalist parties in Europe. Although Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched a fourth term in the recent German elections, her conservative party was weakened and a right-wing party has won seats in the German parliament for the first time since World War Two. The overwhelming influx of refugees from the Middle East had gradually caused locals to feel that the cost of this humanitarian effort was too much for them to bear. Dean Craig shared that although such humanitarian actions tended to lean towards a positive economic impact on countries such as Germany which had a strong manufacturing sector and many blue-collared jobs, this had lost out to an emotional argument as many locals felt that the immigration influx had disrupted their traditional way of life and sense of themselves as a community. This situation contributed the resurgence of far-right nationalist parties in Germany who campaigned in the recent elections to address these issues. Dean Craig said that the people who had voted for these parties were doing economically well but were concerned about the country’s future. She also noted that many of these far-right populist parties could end up destroying the European Union (EU) as they were not just anti-immigration, but also anti-EU. Highlighting that there had been a shift towards illiberal policies, Dean Craig cited the ban against the full face veil for women in Austria on 1 October 2017 as an example, noting that the ban received a great amount of public support. The clip aired on Channel NewsAsia’s Insight programme on 5 October, 8pm.