Immigration is now the biggest concern for European citizens, meaning it’s more of a concern than economic issues and unemployment. This is according to a poll done within the EU member states and candidate states at the end of May. The European Commission made the poll public at the end of July. The poll shows immigration is also the biggest concern for Belgians. In November, a previous inquest showed the economic situation, unemployment and public deficits were the biggest concerns for European citizens at that time. Immigration was in 4th position then (at 24%).
Since then, immigration, at 38% (14 percent more), has overtaken the economic situation (27%), down 6 points), unemployment (24%, down 5 percent) and public finances (23%, down two percent) to become the biggest concern. It is the concern most mentioned in 20 member states. The highest figures are in Malta (65%), which has been confronted with the massive arrival of immigrants, and Germany (55%)
In Italy, where tens of thousands of immigrants land after dangerously crossing the Mediterranean, immigration was the biggest concern (43%). In France, 34% of the population were worried about immigration. That’s more than were worried about the economy (30%).
Another concern has also gained ground: terrorism. Concerns about terrorism have risen since November 2014 throughout the European Union (17%, up 6 percent).
Immigration is also the biggest concern for the Belgian population (39%), beating unemployment (26%). Belgians are also more worried about terrorism (20% – European average of 17%), the cost of living (12% – European average of 9%) and pensions (9% – European average of 4%) than their fellow Europeans
The Europoll is the second European Union opinion poll since the Juncker Commission came into power in November 2014. It is based on interviews with 31,000 people, which took place in May.
Maria Novak (Source: Belga)