Public Opinion

Attitudes correlate to perceived threats

The REMINDER project found attitudes toward free movement are affected by perceived threats from immigration both from within and outside the EU.

The project looked at Europeans’ attitudes toward free movement in relation to immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe, based on perceptions of:

  1. economic impacts
  2. cultural impacts
  3. security impacts

Overall, immigration was perceived as a threat more than a benefit. However, perceptions of the impacts of immigration differed depending on the origin of immigrant groups, and also varied between Eastern and Western European countries. In Poland, Hungary, and Romania, perceived threats from European immigrants were associated with negative attitudes toward free movement. In Germany and Sweden, it was perceived threats from non-European immigrants that triggered such negative attitudes. In the UK and Spain, threat perceptions about both immigrant groups negatively affected attitudes toward free movement.

Why do people see migration as a threat?