A mounted policeman leads a group of migrants near Dobova
Political polling

Central Europeans oppose immigration policies pursued by Brussels but back the Hungarian cabinet in this respect

Seven in ten Central Europeans (74 percent) believe that immigration is disadvantageous for Europe, a poll conducted by Nézőpont Intézet in Hungary and ten other Central European countries reveals. According to a poll, a similar proportion of seven in ten respondents (73 percent) are unsatisfied with the European Union’s managament of illegal border crossings. The survey also makes clear that in Visegrád Group countries, an average of eight in ten respondents (78 percent) are opposed to migratory quotas and on average, close to two times more people support the Hungarian government’s immigration policies (56 percent) than those opposing it (32 percent).

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Between 26th September 2017 and 27th October 2017, Nézőpont Intézet conducted public opinion polls in Hungary and ten other Central European countries (Germany, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria). The survey points out that based on the entire sample comprised of eleven countries, seven in ten Central Europeans (74 percent) believe that immigration is disadvantageous for Europe. Immigration from outside the continent is seen in a negative light primarily by Hungarians and Slovaks (89 percent), Czechs (88 percent) and Bulgarians (80 percent). Curiously, this issue is undivisive even among the Austrian and German population, with 63 percent of Austrians and 58 percent of Germans claiming that the effects of immigration are ’rather negative’ for Europe. This share is similarly high among Romanians (75 percent), Croats (74 percent), Serbs (73 percent), Slovenes (68 percent) and Poles (59 percent).

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A similar share of seven in ten respondents (73 percent) are dissatisfied with the European Union’s management of illegal border crossings. In this respect, Slovaks (91 percent), Czechs (89 percent), Bulgarians (80 percent) and Hungarians (78 percent) are similarly the most dissatisfied with community policies. At the same time, the share of dissatisfied respondents is also high in Slovenia (72 percent), Poland (70 percent), Croatia (64 percent), Romania (59 percent) and Serbia (56 percent). It is important to emphasised that 77 percent of Austrians and 69 percent of Germans are also dissatisfied with the EU’s migratory policies.

Remarkably, the overwhelming majority of respondents from Visegrád Group countries, the members of which attacked the quota system at the European Court of Justice, continue to be opposed to migratory quotas. In the four countries, an average of eight in ten people or 78 percent of respondents disagree with the proposal.

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The survey also extended to the assessment of the Hungarian government’s immigration policies. Remarkably, while the majority opposed immigration policies pursued by the European Union, a relative majority supports the Hungarian cabinet’s migration agenda (44 percent for, 40 percent against). Furthermore, close to two times more respondents in Visegrád Group countries support the Hungarian government’s migratory policies (56 percent) than those rejecting this aspect of the Hungarian cabinet’s activity (32 percent).  At 65 pecent and 55 percent respecitvely, Austrians and Germans view the Hungarian government’s immigration policies most negatively. Becuase respondents in the two countries were skeptical towards other aspects of migration, this is supposedly explained by the highly negative media coverage of Hungary in the international media.

Methodology

Nézőpont Intézet’s public opinion poll was conducted by telephone between 26 September and 27 October in Hungary and ten other Central European countries (Germany, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria) by asking 1000 people in each country. The sample is representative by country of the population aged 18 and above by gender, age, region, settlement type and educational attainment. In the case of a 1000 person sample, the maximum margin of error is 3.2 percent.

Data collection was carried out during the periods below with contribution from the following regional partners:

COUNTRY PARTNER DATA COLLECTION PERIOD
Austria Spectra 28th September 2017 – 13th October 2017.
Bulgaria Alpha Research 29th September 2017 – 18th October 2017
Czech Republic MEDIAN 26th September 2017 – 11th October 2017
Croatia Hendal 28th September 2017 – 14th October 2017.
Poland IBRiS 2-9th October 2017
Hungary Társadalomkutató Kft. 2-9th October 2017
Germany U-Turn 6-14th October 2017
Romania FieldInsights 28th September 2017 – 27th October 2017.
Serbia Masmi 13-24th October 2017
Slovakia MEDIAN 28th September 2017 – 26th October 2017.
Slovenia Aragon 28th September 2017 – 25th October 2017.