Thursday, March 23, 2006

EU to set up entry exam for immigrants.

EU: Once again taking the lead is DA MAN! Sarkozy. America's entry exam is someone looking the other way.

IMMIGRANTS arriving in Europe could be forced to sit a test demonstrating their knowledge of their host country under plans unveiled yesterday by interior ministers from the European Union’s six largest members. The proposed exam, to be designed by a group of experts, is based on schemes being introduced in some European countries, but could eventually be extended to all 25 EU members. It is the latest step in the development of a common immigration policy in Europe, part of which aims to ensure that immigrants accept Western values and become integrated into the host society. The issue has gained approval after a series of terrorist attacks, amid fears that Islamic extremism is gaining a foothold in some Muslim communities. The exam would be part of a new integration contract that the ministers from Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland proposed at a two-day meeting in northern Germany. In addition to making sure that new arrivals are aware of the rights and obligations that come with moving to a new country, the contract would test their knowledge of Western values, and of the host country’s language and main institutions. It would also determine whether they had sufficient means of finance to support themselves. Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said: “What we agreed very strongly was that the values of our societies — democracy, respect for other faiths, free speech, the rule of law, free media and so on — are values which we would expect everybody wanting to settle in these countries to respect.” Asked if immigrants who broke the contract could be deported, Mr Clarke replied: “That would be an issue that could arise.” The meeting agreed that a working group would now flesh out the elements of the potential integration contract that was first raised by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French Interior Minister. It is expected to draw heavily on France’s own experience: it has operated a national welcome and integration contract since 2004 after running pilot projects the previous year.

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