While the majority of European citizens think asylum seekers should be redistributed throughout the EU, a recent poll found bitter divisions between countries in Europe.
The latest Eurobarometer poll, commissioned by the European Parliament, surveyed 28,150 Europeans aged over 15 between Sept. 19-29. The survey showed marked differences between Western and Eastern Europe on how the EU should respond to the growing refugee crisis.
On average, 78% of Europeans agreed with the statement: “The number of asylum seekers should be better distributed among all EU member states.”
But at the national level, the results were dramatically different, especially when looking at the top five and bottom five respondents. In Germany, 97% of respondents agreed that asylum seekers should be redistributed among member states, but in Slovakia only 31% of respondents agreed with the statement.
Binding quotas to equally redistribute asylum seekers was a particularly divisive issue for EU member states. While German chancellor Angela Merkel called on European leaders to do their part in addressing the crisis, Slovakia and Czech republic fiercely resisted any attempts at implementing binding quotas.
The survey found that citizens of these countries had same sentiments of their leaders on this issue.