ENAR launches book about the hidden talents of Europe on April 9, 2013
On April 9 in the European Parliament, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) will launch the book Hidden Talents, Wasted Talents? The real cost of neglecting the positive contribution of migrants and ethnic minorities. The aim of the book is to show evidence of the many ways in which migrants and ethnic minorities are enriching Europe, and to counter myths and negative stereotypes associated with these groups. For instance, the authors address migrant and ethnic minority contributions in economy, health, politics, culture, and education.
Hidden Talents also underscores that Europe does not fully take advantage of its rich variety of cultures, traditions, and languages. Here, we can speak of a general talent waste. The fight for equality and diversity meets strong opposition in Europe; racism, xenophobia, and discrimination flourish. High unemployment across much of the continent has led to an exacerbation of fears, and many blame migrants for ‘stealing’ jobs from natives. The reality, however, is quite different. As populations grow older, migrants are needed to secure the future well-being of Europe. In addition, in the midst of the financial crisis, statistics shows that 25% of employers in the European region have difficulty filling positions due to lack of qualified individuals. Creating more opportunities for migrants would thus be to everybody’s advantage.
Moreover, the book points to the gap in research on the value of migrants and ethnic minorities for European society. There is a scarcity of official data on the subject, and Hidden Talents is an encouragement to policymakers and academics to undertake more research on the positive impact of migration and ethnic and religious diversity. Therefore, ENAR and ENAR Foundation hope that Hidden Talents is merely the first account in a series of interesting studies on the positive contributions of migrants and ethnic and religious minorities in coming years. Such studies will be crucial if we want to change negative stereotypes. After all, diversity is part of the very foundation of Europe, and we can only build a strong and successful Europe by recognizing and capitalizing on the value of our differences. Revealing the hidden talents among us is therefore a step towards achieving an equal and racism-free Europe.