The refugee crisis in Europe has served, among other things, to highlight the stark contrast between EU countries on their immigration policies. The responses to a record-breaking 500,000 migrants moving into Europe this year have ranged from open-armed acceptance to “Muslims not welcome.”
What drives state policies toward migrants in part is popular attitudes. A recent poll shows that Europeans are mixed with sadness, fear, and empathy about the refugee crisis, but it’s worth looking at how Europeans have historically viewed the immigrants in their countries.
A survey from Pew Research Center from the spring of 2014 highlights the differences in opinion among Europeans. Perhaps not surprisingly, Germany leads the way in positive feelings for its immigration population (although considerably less so when it comes to who to blame for crime). Italy and Greece are the least immigrant-friendly.