Public Opinion

Opinion in sending vs receiving countries

Overall, the REMINDER project’s analysis showed that in the EU, attitudes toward free movement tend to be positive.

Public opinion toward free movement is more positive in countries that mainly ‘send’ their citizens, than those that mainly receive them.

In a survey of public opinion carried out by researchers, attitudes toward freedom of movement were measured (on a 5 point scale where 1 indicates ‘strongly disagree’ and 5 ‘strongly agree’) against five items, with the aim of investigating perceived impacts on national security, culture, labour market, welfare system, and economy:

  1. The movement of individuals between EU countries should be restricted to help fight crime.
  2. The movement of individuals between EU countries should be free to increase mutual understanding.
  3. The movement of individuals between EU countries should be restricted to protect native workers.
  4. The movement of individuals between EU countries should be restricted to avoid exploitation of the public services (e.g. education and health services).
  5. The movement of individuals between EU countries should be free to promote economic growth.

The most positive attitudes toward free movement were found in Romania, followed by Poland, and Hungary. In Germany, Sweden, and Spain respondents were more neutral toward free movement, but still positive. The UK is the only country where people had negative attitudes toward free movement. Positive attitudes toward free movement are associated with support for the EU.

Why are people migrating?

Why are sending states generally more positive about migration?

What do receiving states think?