The Atlantic

A Surprising Finding About Refugees in Europe Amid a Political Reckoning

A new Pew survey says a significant majority in several EU countries supports accepting more people fleeing violence.
Source: Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Three years after an estimated 1.3 million people sought asylum in Europe, immigration remains a polarizing issue that has reshaped the political landscape across the continent. It’s almost certain to dominate the agenda at a meeting of European Union leaders that begins Wednesday in Salzburg, Vienna: Immigration policy is a priority for Sebastian Kurz, the conservative chancellor of Austria whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, as well as for his coalition allies from the far-right Freedom Party.

But the political consequences of the surge of immigrants in 2015—the rise of far-right, anti-immigrant parties—may belie a more sympathetic view of refugees, as well as more critical opinions of how the EU handled the crisis. A new from the Pew Research Center released Wednesday says a majority of people in several EU countries support accepting refugees fleeing violence, but large majorities in those countries also say they strongly disapprove of the manner in which the EU handled the crisis in 2015.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The Unchecked Corruption of Trump’s Cabinet
The lavish spending of top officials rarely makes headlines anymore, but that doesn’t mean the problem has gone away.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Does Trump Deserve Credit on China?
The president’s approach is different than his predecessors’—but that doesn’t mean it’s working.
The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
Macron and Salvini: Two Leaders, Two Competing Visions for Europe
The French and Italian politicians see different futures for the continent. Both face tests in this week’s European Parliament elections.