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Standard Eurobarometer
 

Immigration and terrorism, Europeans’ biggest concerns

Survey was carried out before the last terrorist attacks. Trust in the EU is higher than trust in national governments.

SOURCES Express & Star, EurActiv AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BRUSSELS 04 AUGUST 2016 18:40 h GMT+1
Almost half (48%) surveyed were most concerned about immigration

Immigration and terrorism are European citizens’ two biggest fears, according to research by the EU’s civil service.



Almost half (48%) surveyed were most concerned about immigration, while more than a third (39%) told a European Commission survey that terrorism was their greatest fear.



The Standard Eurobarometer was conducted through face-to-face interviews with 31,946 people between 21 and 31 May 2016 - just one month before the UK opted to leave the EU.



 



IMMIGRATION AND TERRORISM



While migrant concerns have dropped, terror fears have increased by 14 per cent.



Europe’s economy was the third biggest worry for the 31,946 people interviewed. People in 34 countries, including the EU member states, Macedonia, Turkey, Montenegro and Albania were surveyed for the 2016 spring Eurobarometer public opinion report.



Immigration was recorded as the number one concern in 20 member states and among the top two concerns in all countries, except Portugal.



Terrorism was recorded as the number one issue in eight member states and among the top two concerns in all countries, except Greece.



The survey was also carried out before several large-scale terror attacks across the bloc, including the Nice attack which killed 84 people and an attack on a church in Normandy in which two ISIS soldiers slit the throat of a priest in front of a packed congregation during morning mass.



 



Terror fears have increased by 14 per cent.



 



TRUST IN THE EU



The study revealed trust the European Union, which has gone up to 33 per cent, is higher than the level of trust in national governments - ranked at 27 per cent.



According to the report, 34 per cent of people have a positive opinion about the union while only 27 per cent have a negative image of it. A further 66 per cent claimed they felt they were citizens of the EU, with 38 per cent saying they felt their voice counted.



The survey found that two thirds of Europeans support a common European policy on migration, despite the fears over immigration.



At national level, the survey found main concerns are unemployment (33 per cent) and immigration (28 per cent).



 



FREE MOVEMENT



79% of respondents said they were in favour of the free movement of EU citizens, including 63% of the people interviewed in the UK. They answered just a month before the referendum.



The free movement of EU citizens is now one of the major issues at stake in the Brexit negotiations.



European leaders such as François Hollande in France and Angela Merkel in Germany have said access to the single market is conditional on the free movement of people.


 

 


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