Is Europe changing?
Europe has been going through a turbulent time lately with regards to its demographics. The European governments are very enthusiastic about the multi-cultural society. As they claim ”diversity is our strength”. Generally, anyone disagreeing with that statement is silenced by name-calling. You are xenophobic and racist.
The flows of migration are permanently and drastically impacting Europe, but how do Europeans feel about that?
Attitudes to immigration
Now we would like to offer some criticism to the chart below. The title of the chart is ”The most anti-immigrant countries in Europe”. Yet, the statement they asked people about was ”There are so many foreigners living here, it doesn’t feel like home any more.”
This statement is not necessarily a direct match with being anti-immigrants. It merely indicates that people experience their country is changing. It implies that the culture of the country is changing.
Europe does not feel at home
Some of the countries at the bottom of the list are generally recognized as opposing immigration. Yet in this chart they score the lowest for ”anti-immigrant” attitudes. Clearly, the fact that there are fewer immigrants in Poland is influencing the degree to which the Polish do not feel at home in their own country. This is confirmed by the next graph.
A better title for the graph would have been ”Which country is most upset with the results of immigration”. A different poll published by the Chatham House showed the results below.
Europe is frustrated
In Italy over half the population does not feel at home in their own country. In France and Germany it approaches half. The United Kingdom and Sweden are lagging behind, perhaps due to the immigrant populations being more contained in certain cities and neighborhoods.
Nevertheless, would it not be normal to feel at home in your own country?
The frustration shown in the graph is a strong indicator of the severity of the changes that Europe is going through.
Why are they not voting to change it?
We have seen anti-immigrant parties rising in the elections. Still, their scores are nowhere near the results on the question. Clearly, the implication is that there is a large group of frustrated people that do not feel at home in their countries, that do not vote for the anti-immigrant parties.
One possibility is that the frustrated natives of Europe feel that the anti-immigrant parties are too extreme in other points. For example, the right-wing in France does not always vote for Le Pen due to her economic policies. However, there is no economically liberal anti-immigrant party in France.
In Germany, the AfD is pictured as the modern-day rise of Nazism. They are depicted as a party of hate. The people that say do not feel at home, do not have to hate the immigrants, and hence may be reluctant to vote for them.
Undoubtedly, there are more reasons this is happening, that are not fully dived into.
What can we take from this?
There are far more disgruntled Europeans than the polls would make one believe. There are far more Europeans that are sick of immigration than the ones voting for the ‘extreme’ right-wing parties.
Moreover, having more immigrants in your country, seems to have a clear influence on how well people feel at home in their country. All countries that have accepted high numbers of immigrants over the last decades, have over one third of their populations not feel at home anymore.