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Survey: Slovaks are least supportive of migrant redistribution within EU

SLOVAKS are the least supportive of the redistribution of migrants among citizens of European Union-member states, according to a Eurobarometer survey whose results were presented by the European Parliament Information Office in Slovakia on October 16.

Syrian asylum seekers from Austria in Gabčíkovo(Source: TASR)

The results showed that an average of 78 percent of the EU population thinks that asylum seekers should be redistributed among EU-member states. The most supportive of this idea are Germans (97 percent), while Slovaks are the least supportive (31 percent). Of the EU-wide 78 percent, almost 75 percent think that the measure should be carried out via mandatory quotas approved by the EU, whereas only 51 percent of the 31 percent of Slovaks who were in favour of redistribution supported obligatory quotas.

When asked whether their country needs legal migrants, and in economic sectors in the current context in particular, Slovakia was also placed last. Only 19 percent of Slovaks agree with this statement, while, for example, 77 percent of Swedes and 72 percent of Germans agreed.

A similar outcome was produced when people were asked whether the presence of citizens from other EU-member states is advantageous for the economy. Slovakia along with Cyprus occupied last place with only 31 percent of answers in the affirmative. The EU average was 56 percent. The countries which take the most positive view of other EU nationals on their territory are Sweden (79 percent), Luxembourg (77 percent), Germany (72 percent), and Denmark (71 percent). In five countries, however, there is an absolute majority who do not consider it desirable to have nationals of other Member States, the figures being 66 percent for Cyprus, 60 percent for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, 58 percent for Greece, and 56 percent for Hungary, the “Parlemeter” poll found.

Concerning the presence of nationals of other EU-member states and cultural diversity, at the EU level 66 percent of respondents think that the presence of nationals of other member states enhances their country’s cultural diversity. However, at the national level the same distinctions are apparent. Support for the above idea is strongest in Sweden (88 percent), Luxembourg (84 percent), and Denmark (83 percent). Conversely, the countries least in favour are the Czech Republic (33 percent), Slovakia (39 percent), Bulgaria (42 percent), and Hungary (49 percent).

With respect to making decisions concerning migration, an average of 66 percent of the respondents said that such decisions should be made at the European level, rather than at national levels. Cyprus, Germany, Spain and Luxembourg were the countries supporting this idea the most (79-81 percent). Conversely, the figure was only around 40 percent in Estonia, Poland and Slovakia.

Slovak European-Parliament Information Office director Robert Hajšel stated that Slovakia is also at the back of the pack with respect to financial support for states forming the EU’s external borders and with respect to the harmonisation of legislation concerning migration within the EU.

Fear of immigration and terrorism has significantly increased compared to 2013. As many as 47 percent of the respondents from the EU as a whole see migration as the biggest challenge that the EU and its member states currently face, whereas in 2013 the figure was only 14 percent. Only 3 percent of Slovaks feared immigration in 2013, but now the figure is up to 49 percent. Terrorism was viewed as the biggest issue by 26 percent of all EU respondents, compared to 11 percent in 2013.

The survey was carried out between September 19-29 on a sample of 28,150 respondents from across the EU aged 15 and over, the TASR newswire wrote.

Topic: Migration crisis


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