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Berlin (CNSNews.com) – A major new poll has found a ten-year high in favorable views of the European Union, even though migration is identified as the biggest concern for European citizens, followed by climate change.
In the E.U.’s latest twice-yearly Eurobarometer survey, the number of respondents with a positive image of the E.U. reached 45 percent, its highest level in the past ten years.
Migration - Concern - Percent - Percent - Poll
Migration remains the top concern, at 34 percent – down six percent from the last poll – while climate change reached the number two spot for the first time, at 22 percent.
Not surprisingly, given its geographical location, Malta accounted for the highest concern about migration, with 63 percent of Maltese respondents expressing that view. Next up were the Czech Republic, Estonia, and Slovenia (53 percent each), and the Netherlands (50 percent).
Petra - Bendel - Chair - Expert - Council
Petra Bendel, chair of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration, a non-partisan advisory council, attributed the fact migration is of greater concern than other key issues like climate change to politicians and media coverage.
“In several member-states the issue is being strongly politicized and even scandalized by, mostly right-wing parties,” she said. “Populists especially tend to willfully describe migrants as ‘irregular,’ often evoking feelings of threat.”
Number - EU - Citizens - Migration - Survey
She also pointed out that the number of E.U. citizens concerned about migration has been dropping steadily in the biannual survey since 2015, corresponding with decreasing migrant flows. In 2015, the number had stood at 58 percent.
“When it comes to any political issue, visibility matters, and the weather is much less meaningful than changes where people live and work, especially if those changes are viewed as negative,” said Matt Pinsker, an international law professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Europeans - Climate - Change - Statistic - Migration
“For many Europeans, climate change is a mere statistic they’ve read about, while migration is far more visible with a more noticeable impact...
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