By Margherita Distrotti
On the 28th of May, the French president Macron met Mamoudou Gassama, an immigrant from Mali who scaled an apartment building to rescue a child who was about to fall, and proposed to offer him French citizenship for his “exceptional act”. Still, before this act, Gassama, like the majority of men and women who come to Europe seeking a better life, was just part of a number to be dealt with in the public opinion.
There is a need to raise awareness of the reasons why thousands of people every year embark in long and extremely harsh journeys to come to the old continent. They have a history, families, hopes for the future. Most importantly, Europe must stop treating immigrants as a threat. Economic studies have shown that the immigration of many young people has a positive impact on the economies of European countries in which the population is getting older and older. If the same effort which is put in creating the image of immigration as a crisis was put in implementing effective integration policies, we would undoubtedly have a more prosperous and humane Europe.