There aren't as many foreigners in the EU as people believe Photo: ANSA
There aren't as many foreigners in the EU as people believe Photo: ANSA

A report says just over half of Italians think migrants are more a problem than an opportunity. The survey suggests that in Europe, the populations in Hungary, Malta and Greece are most hostile to immigration, with the Swedes at the other end of the scale.

More than one in two Italians (51% of respondents) consider migrants to be more a problem than an opportunity, according to a Eurobarometer report. The countries most hostile to immigration are Hungary, Malta and Greece (63% of the sample), followed by Slovakia (54%), Bulgaria (52%), Italy (51%) and Cyprus (50%). Sweden is at the bottom of the ranking with 19%.

Among Italians surveyed, 75% believed that immigration increases crime in the country, while 58% believed it takes jobs away from Italians.

Across Europe, 69% of respondents believe measures supporting integration are a necessary long-term investment and the same percentage believes it is a two-way process involving migrants and the host society.

The EU has an important role in integration  

In general, the respondents agreed on the main factors promoting or impeding integration, as well as on the political measures supporting it. These include language courses on arrival, compulsory integration programs and measures for accessing the job market.

60% of Europeans have daily interactions with migrants, while 40% say they have friends or family who are migrants. In addition, the majority of respondents say the EU plays an important role in integration. The survey shows that only a minority consider themselves well-informed concerning migration and integration and that Europeans tend to overestimate the number of non-EU migrants in their communities: in 19 member states the real percentage is half the estimated quota.

 

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