Seven out of 10 Europeans Believe Their Countries Accept Too Many Immigrants

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A recent survey by BVA Xsight for ARTE Europe Weekly, a project led by French-German TV channel ARTE GEIE, reveals that a significant majority of Europeans (70%) believe their countries are accepting an excessive number of foreign migrants.

Seven out of 10 Europeans Believe Their Countries Accept Too Many Immigrants 1

Concerns and Perceptions

  • 85% of respondents advocate for increased efforts by the European Union to combat irregular migration.
  • Only 39% believe that Europe requires immigration from outside the bloc.
  • Immigration is perceived as a problem in several countries:
    • Bulgaria (74%)
    • Czech Republic (73%)
    • Hungary and Cyprus (68% each)
    • Greece (90%)
  • Paradoxically, only 44% of respondents in Italy, where the highest number of irregular immigrants entered last year, view immigration as a problem.

Health, War, and Other Concerns

Beyond immigration, Europeans express other concerns:

  • Health (41%)
  • War in Ukraine (38%)
  • Environment and inflation (24%, tied)

Country-specific priorities also emerge:

  • France: purchasing power
  • Poland: security
  • Ireland: housing
  • Spain: unemployment

European Parliament Elections and Perceptions

The survey coincides with the upcoming European Parliament elections in June.

  • 73% of respondents feel optimistic about their personal futures.
  • However, 57% believe the economic situation in the EU has worsened, and 63% report the same for their own countries.
  • Only 33% view EU decisions as having a positive impact on their lives.
  • Portugal (51%) and some other countries acknowledge the positive influence of the EU.
  • France and the Czech Republic (21% each) have the lowest opinions of the EU's impact.

National vs. European Identity

Only 9% of Europeans identify as more European than national.

  • In newer EU member states, citizens prioritize national needs:
    • Romania (82%)
    • Bulgaria (81%)
    • Greece and Latvia (79% each)
  • However, most countries favor strengthening common European policies in areas like defense (72%) and immigration (70%).

Divisions Within Europe

The survey suggests a division within Europe:

  • "End of the world" concerns (security, Ukraine war): Estonia, Finland, Poland
  • "End of the month" concerns (cost of living): France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal

Ukraine War and European Union

  • 62% fear an imminent war with Russia.
  • Only 30% believe Europe has adequate military resources.
  • 61% support increased EU support for Ukraine, while 63% favor negotiating a ceasefire.
  • 63% support Ukraine's accession to the EU, though some countries express reluctance.

Climate Change and Environmental Concerns

  • 82% view climate change as a significant problem.
  • 43% prioritize fighting global warming, particularly in southern Europe.
  • There is more support for government-led environmental measures (e.g., pesticide reduction, public transportation investment) than for individual behavioral changes (e.g., increased taxes on personal vehicle use).
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