Immigration was the primary concern in 9 countries
MAY 14, 2018
A YouGov poll of over 11,000 residents of 11 European countries reveals that the top issue facing the EU is immigration.
Immigration was the primary concern in 9 countries – Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Lithuania, Finland, Italy, Greece, and France, and the second most important in two – Poland and Spain.
Terrorism was the first or second most pressing matter in nine nations, with Spaniards and Italians placing a high priority on unemployment in the bloc.
The survey also revealed an interesting correlation between residents’ opinions of their leadership and immigration.
Concern for how immigration is directly affecting the residents of Poland and Lithuania at the national level scored lowest, while the same respondents held the highest favorability of their current heads of state.
Swedes, Germans, and Danish listed immigration as the top problem facing their respective countries.
The survey’s findings should only come as a surprise to few, as election after election continue to reinforce Europeans’ definitive rejection of open borders and the on-going crisis they are fueling across the continent.
As Matthew Goodwin, a senior fellow at Chatham House, notes regarding the YouGov poll, “There is a new issue agenda. Europe is moving rightwards. Unless the centre-left finds something meaningful to say it will be cast aside, not least because these issues will only likely become more important to voters (migration, ethnic change, unresolved refugee crisis, etc).”
In a 2017 study co-conducted by Goodwin for Chatham House, the think tank made similar discoveries with a comparable sampling of over 10,000 Europeans, finding that “across all 10 of the European countries an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed.”
Many would argue that the 2016 Brexit referendum, followed by the election of Donald Trump in the U.S., ignited a firestorm of populism that has most recently engulfed Italy as a Euroskeptic, anti-migration coalition verges on formation – a worst-case scenario for the internationalists in Brussels and Strasbourg.