Tuesday

22nd Jan 2019

Europeans worry less about terrorism, more on migration

  • Police in Barcelona following truck attack against pedestrians which killed 13 people and injured 130 in 2017 (Photo: Wikimedia)

The share of Europeans who think that terrorism is one of the two most important issues facing the EU has dropped substantially in the past two years.

Some 20 percent of respondents to the latest Eurobarometer poll mentioned terrorism, down from 44 percent in early 2017.

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  • Greeks are very pessimistic about their economy (Photo: desbyrnephotos)

The main concern now is immigration, which was mentioned most often (by around 40 percent of respondents), in the three most recent Eurobarometer polls.

The state of member states' public finances (19 percent) and the economic situation (18 percent) were also issues whose importance was rated by a similar share of EU citizens in the past two years.

The share of people who think climate change is one of the EU's two biggest challenges was at its highest point yet: 16 percent gave this response, up from 11 percent six months ago.

While immigration is mentioned first in almost all 28 EU member states, around 46 percent of Swedish respondents mentioned climate change first. In Portugal, terrorism was mentioned most frequently (35 percent).

As always, the poll shows large divergences between member states when respondents are asked to judge the situation of the economy in their countries.

Citizens in Malta, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were most positive, with more than 90 percent saying the situation was good.

In Greece however, which this year exited the EU bailout programme, only six percent of respondents said the Greek economy was in a good state. Some 94 percent said the situation was bad.

Similar low levels of appraisal of the national economy were found in Croatia, Spain, and Bulgaria.

Looking ahead, some 44 percent of respondents said they thought the "worst is still to come" in terms of economic crisis - a similar share thought the impact of the crisis on jobs had reached its peak.

France (67 percent) and the UK (60 percent) were among the countries where respondents thought the worst still laid ahead.

EU in sudden turmoil over UN migration pact

A UN migration pact aimed at laying down basic principles for tackling migration on a global level gets caught up in Europe's heated political debate on nationalism and migration, ahead of the May 2019 European elections.

Opinion

Migration and May elections - time to get facts right

If misinformation in the field of migration can bring a government down, as in the recent case of Belgium following the country's adoption of the UN migration pact, then it can doubtless produce a populist majority in the European parliament.

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