Europe and Islam: Coexistence or Integration

Danilo Türk (President of the Republic of Slovenia)
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Distinguished Lecture

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, presented a well-received lecture on ‘Europe and Islam: Coexistence or Integration?’ to a capacity audience at the University’s Examination Schools. In his lecture, President Türk spoke about the varied experiences of Europe’s  minority groups.

While noting that Europe as a whole has had little experience of mass migrations, each country has had specific encounters with immigrants from different countries. There was a need for frank and open discussions about the impact of these arrivals on the majority population while appreciating the needs of the minority groups. Dr Türk stated that the main elements of immigration policy should be stimulation of entrepreneurship among minority groups; provision of access to education at all levels in order to ensure equal opportunities; respect for the religious needs of Muslim minority communities; and measures to ensure a robust anti-discrimination policy in the workplace.

The President concluded by calling for a more tolerant and inclusive dialogue between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in Europe. A lively discussion, chaired by Sir Adam Roberts, followed after which, the Director of the Centre hosted a dinner in honour of the President.