ORB study across 14 countries in Europe reveals refugees are considered a European problem few of us want

New research from ORB International in conjunction with WIN/Gallup International has found that a majority of those across Europe think the Continent should be doing more to help but on an individual country level, most chose to ignore the problem

More than one in two (57%) feel that Europe should be doing more in response to the current refugee crisis, with the Italians (83%) and the Greeks (87%) significantly more likely than others to say we should be doing more.  The Belgians (41%) and the French (37%) are the most likely to say we should be doing less.  

But when it comes to individual country responsibility the picture is very different.  A majority (59%) of those polled across 14 countries in Europe think that economic migrants overall burden their country by taking jobs, housing, health etc.  Some of those countries which are currently among the primary destinations for migrants are also those who are least likely to argue they ‘strengthen our country through hard work and talent’ – UK (36%), Italy (32%), Germany (35%), France (35%).

When also asked hypothetically if they had a spare room at home whether they would be willing to house a refugee for a short period while their paperwork is being finalised, one in three (35%) said they would but two in three (65%) would refuse a room.  The Bulgarians (14%), British (20%) and Dutch (27%) are the most likely to refuse temporary shelter.  Temporary shelter is most likely to be found in Spain (62%), Greece (48%) and Germany (48%),

Johnny Heald, Managing Director of ORB International said:

“These results show that the UK are some of the least likely to offer temporary shelter to a refugee and some of the least likely to criticise the response to the crisis from Europe.  It seems that it’s a problem many don’t want to think about, a problem many people are happy to see play out away from our shores.  Its hardly a good advert for the Big Society”


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14 country data

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