In all the EU member states a vast majority of citizens consider illegal immigration a serious problem, and in most countries voters believe that migrants come to Europe for economic reasons and state benefits. But why are Europeans so concerned about immigration?
A number of questions included in Project 28 – a public opinion survey that the Századvég Foundation has been conducting in 28 EU member states since 2016 – investigate how Europeans perceive the consequences of massive migration flows in their country and their everyday life. In general, respondents consider the immigration of people outside Europe dangerous for their personal security, as well as a threat for the economy and the culture of their country. More precisely, in the 28 countries sampled, 62% of respondents think that the massive influx of immigrants in their country will increase the threat of terrorism and the crime rates. At the same time, 57% of Europeans believe that non-EU immigration harms the cultural homogeneity of their own country. This result is in line with the data shown by the REScEU Mass Survey conducted in 2016 in six EU member states (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom). Finally, European citizens also worry about the negative economic impact brought by immigration. Almost three respondents out of four (73%) believe that handling immigration poses a huge financial burden for receiving countries. Another 61% of them think that the mass influx of immigrants from outside of the continent set back the EU’s economy.
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