70% of the respondents find the growth of the Muslim population in Europe a major problem.
Seventy per cent of the respondents see the growth of the Muslim population in Europe as a major problem. One of the social developments currently taking place in the European Union is the growth of the Muslim population: 36% consider this to be a very serious threat, and 34% think that this process is only a rather serious threat. More than a quarter, (28%) think that it is not a very serious threat or no threat at all.
Those who consider the rapid growth the Muslim population to be a threat are in a majority in every Member State. In Belgium and in France, where the main terrorist attacks have been and where the Muslim population is relatively high, the growth of the Muslim population is not considered to be as much of a problem. In those countries where the proportion of the Muslim population is relatively low, it is more typical for this process to be seen as a problem, as in Bulgaria (69%), Hungary (53%), Latvia (58%), Poland (51%) and Slovenia (54%): all countries where more than half of the respondents think that the growth of the Muslim population is a very alarming problem. Approximately one fifth to slightly more than one quarter of the Belgians (20%), the French (22%), the Germans (20%), the Irish (24%), the Luxembourgers (28%), the Dutch (25%), the Swedes (29%) and the British (19%) do not think that the growing Muslim population is a threat at all.
As regards the resettlement quota system for distributing migrants coming to the continent among the countries of Europe, 37% of the respondents are opposed, but 53% are in favour, with 10% not answering.
On this subject there is a major divergence between countries, the proportion in favour ranging between 10% and 76%, and of those against ranging from 16% to 85%. The highest rate of those not answering either way, reflecting confusion, is in Denmark (22%). Austria (76%), Germany (74%) and Greece (73%) agree the most with the planned EU quota system. All three countries are personally and directly involved in the migration issue, and as we could see they welcome and support it, mainly because many think that the migrants are coming to Europe for their personal safety. Among the countries that disapprove of this plan the most are Hungary (85%), the Czech Republic (83%), Latvia (71%), Romania (73%) and Slovakia (80%).
An alternative to inclusion and quota-based distribution is building continuous border barriers, and 41% of the respondents approved of this approach, with 51% disapproving and 8% not answer either way.
Opinions among countries are not uniform, and the range of those agree with continuous border barriers is between 20% and 82%. Hungary (79%) and Bulgaria (82%) have the highest rate of preference for this solution, with Portugal and Luxembourg having the lowest (19% and 22% respectively).
Unlike the wide divergence in opinion on border barriers, European citizens respond uniformly on the question of global solutions, with 91% of the respondents thinking that Europe cannot solve the migration problem alone, and that a global solution is necessary.
For this question, there was less divergence among different countries compared to some of the former questions, but it can be seen that while this statement was mostly accepted in Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Germany (93–94%), in Hungary 15% rejected it.
Altogether 84% of the population of the Union consider that the issue of illegal immigration is worrying
In addition to global action we wanted to find out to what extent European citizens are concerned by illegal immigration in their own countries. In this regard, 49% of the respondents considered illegal immigration to be a very serious problem, whereas another 36% think that it is only a rather serious problem.
At least two-thirds of the population of each Member State considers illegal immigration a significant problem. There were three countries where the proportion of those who thought that illegal immigration was not a serious problem was outstandingly high:
Ireland (22%), Luxembourg (25%) and Poland (23%). In another three countries concern was outstandingly high: Bulgaria (68%), Romania (63%) and Slovenia (63%).
According to the majority of European citizens the immigration wave is increasing the risk of terrorism, the amount of crime, and is endangers the cultural integrity of countries affected by it. In the questionnaire we also covered the presumed or real social and economic impacts of mass migration. The impacts covered by the questionnaire were the following: increased crime, increased threat of terrorist attacks, difficulties in getting jobs, erosion of national culture and identity. In all four questions more than 50% of the respondents agreed that these are problems.
Most respondents agreed that the influx of immigrants would increase crime in their countries: 65% of the respondents thought that this statement was true.
Spaniards are the least concerned about the rising crime as a result of migrants, with 50% of the respondents agreeing with the statement. The statement was supported to a similar extent in Ireland (53%) and Luxembourg (52%). In the Czech Republic we find the highest rate of agreement with the statement: 90% are fear that public safety is threatened. The majority of the citizens of Estonia (86%), Finland (81%), Hungary (84%), Latvia (90%), Lithuania (82%), Slovakia (82%) and Slovenia (81%) fear an increase in crime.
In addition to an increase in crime, citizens feel that the threat of terrorism is directly connected to the influx of immigrants, with 65% of the respondents agreeing with the statement that the migrant wave increases the threat of terrorism in their country. As with the previous question the number of those who did not answer was low (1%).
Luxembourgers disagreed the most with the statement that the immigration wave is increasing the threat of terrorism: most of them (54%) do not share this view. As with the previous question, 50% of the Spanish respondents agreed with this statement.
People are concerned the most about the increased threat of terrorism in Latvia (88%). A higher share of the population are concerned in Bulgaria (80%), the Czech Republic (84%), Estonia (84%), Hungary (85%), Lithuania (85%), Romania (80%) and Slovakia (81%).
63% of the respondents viewed that the immigration changes the culture and the identity of the country, whereas 36% claimed that it is not true. On this question most all respondents had an opinion with only 1% not answering this question.
In almost every Member State (except for six countries) the majority believes that the influx of immigrants will change their country’s culture. The rate of those who agreed with this statement was outstandingly high in the Netherlands and Sweden. Here 81% and 79% respectively view that the culture of their country is changed by the immigration. Romanian respondents are at the other end of the list: they think that it is not true that immigrants would endanger Romanian identity and culture, and 64% of them rejected this statement. The Croatian (40%), French (48%), Polish (44%), Portuguese (43%) and the Spanish population (45%) are most confident that their national cultures are protected.
We examined the impacts of the immigration in a fourth dimension: the labour market. Fifty per cent of the respondents feel that the migration wave reduces the number of jobs available for citizens, but exactly the same proportion of respondents thought the opposite. Only 1% of the respondents were unsure.
Responses agreeing with the statement range from 30% to 69%. Maltese respondents (69%) and the Cypriots (67%) are most afraid of losing their jobs because of migrants, whereas the statement is rejected the most by the Luxembourgers (57%), the Czechs (57%), and the Germans (57%) where fewer people are concerned about migrants taking their jobs. The order of the four greatest threats differ from country to country. Germany was the only one to with the following order, form high to low: infrastructure (74%), terrorism (70%), increased crime (68%) and job losses (41%). For Hungarian respondents the order of importance was as follows: increased threat of terrorism (85%), increased crime (84%), a threat to Hungarian culture (73%), employment threats (52%). The same order was expressed in Lithuania and Bulgaria. In the overwhelming majority of countries the least fear is felt in the area of jobs. Spaniards showed the most uniform distribution across the four criteria. The biggest divergence among the criteria was experienced in Romania and the Czech Republic, where there were differences of nearly 50%.