Reducing Immigration Now More Important to Europeans Than Climate Change

24 March 2023, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Grevesmühlen: People protest with signs and
Getty Images

Concern about immigration and terrorism is rising in Europe while “fighting climate change” as a priority is falling by the wayside among voters, research led by the former Secretary General of NATO has found.

A massive global survey of 63,000 people in 53 countries by the Alliance of Democracies Foundation (ADF) uncovers remarkable global trends including falling interest in the Ukraine war, concern about the damage to democracy done by “global corporations”, and growing belief governments only seek to serve a “small group of people”, not the majority. Among these findings is fresh data on the feeling of Europeans on the threats to their continent, and the priorities they have for their governments.

The ADF, founded by former NATO Secretary General and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen published its annual Democracy Perception Index this week and it reported “many European countries have seen a sharp rise in the share of people who say that ‘reducing immigration’ should be a top government priority”. At the same time, it said, interest in “fighting climate change” was falling.

While reducing immigration is a priority for just 16 per cent of people globally, it is trending towards 50 per cent in some European states. As a policy area, in Europe as a whole it overtook fighting climate change this year, and is on course to easily overtake promoting economic growth by 2025, leaving only ‘reduce poverty’ as a greater priority for European voters.

This is a remarkable turn of events, not least because many Western governments have said they are pushing for open borders and high immigration levels precisely to promote economic growth. While this is being ever more widely acknowledged as either a lie or at least misguided, the new report findings suggest even if mass migration was proven to boost Western economies, Europeans may still rather see arrivals cut than economic growth at any price.

While concern about immigration varies across Europe, the countries ahead of the continent-wide trend on calling it a top priority citizens think their government should address included Germany, Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom. Tangentially, those interviewed in Germany, Ireland and France were at the forefront of people worldwide calling migration a top global — as opposed to just national — issue, while concern about terrorism is also rising in the continent, and particularly in France.

The study may make particularly uncomfortable reading for the Germany government — a left-wing coalition featuring both the establishment-left Social Democrats and the hard-left Green Party — where encouraging migration and radically changing the economy to suit the environmentalist agenda remains top priorities. This ideological drive has seen some remarkable decisions reached, including shutting down Germany’s remaining fleet of nuclear power stations during an energy crisis and a gas shortage.

Germany’s Green Party Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck subsequently claimed nobody had warned him shutting down nuclear power during a power crisis was a bad idea. While this may seem obvious, further revelations have suggested the minister may even have been deliberately kept in the dark about such things, allegedly to force the policy through, leading into question both his judgement and the malign influence of his aides.

The disconnect between the German people — the most likely to say controlling immigration is a priority of any country in Europe, the Democracy Perception Index figures state — and the principles of the government is handily expressed in polling. While the Red-Green-Yellow coalition picked up 51.8 per cent of the popular vote in the 2021 Federal elections leading to the present coalition government, polling today puts those parties at just 34 per cent.

The ‘reds’ Social Democrats have even surrendered their position as the second-largest party in German politics in the past year, with the right-populist Alternative For Germany (AfD) now polling at 18 per cent.

The polling showing the new priorities for Europe also comes just weeks before nearly the whole continent is due to vote in June’s European Parliament elections. The populist-right is predicted to make a breakthrough, apparently sending the globalist-centrist Brussels establishment into a panic.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.