An overwhelming majority of Europeans believe illegal immigration remains a key concern affecting the continent and consider Christian culture and traditions worthy of preservation, polling by a Hungarian think tank has revealed.
According to the 2022 Europe Project poll conducted by the Századvég Foundation based in Budapest, almost four in five respondents (78 percent) are concerned about the continuous influx of illegal immigrants into Europe, while a smaller majority of 56 percent think it’s important to preserve Europe’s Christian heritage.
The poll covers not only EU member states but the wider European community, including the United Kingdom, the Balkan region, and Turkey. A summary of the polling was sent to the MTI news outlet on Wednesday.
Albania, a country that has recently been the main country of origin for illegal immigrants flooding into Britain across the English Channel, was the only country surveyed without a majority of respondents concerned about illegal immigration.
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Countries with high levels of concern include those with the most progressive governments, including Sweden (78 percent), Germany (75 percent), France (73 percent), and the Netherlands (68 percent), according to the Századvég survey.
In France and the United Kingdom, those in favor of preserving Christian culture were barely in the majority at 52 percent and 55 percent, respectively.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) in former socialist countries agreed the preservation of Christian culture was of critical importance.
The concern over immigration is reflected by statistics published by EU border agency Frontex this week which revealed illegal immigration into the European Union was at its highest rate since the 2016 migration crisis.
Approximately 330,000 illegal border-crossings into the European Union were recorded in 2022, an increase of 64 percent from the previous year.
The Western Balkan migratory route, which typically sees migrants travel through Turkey, Bulgaria, and Serbia to reach the EU external border at Hungary, became the most widely used route by migrants last year, overtaking the Central Mediterranean route, which often sees migrants cross from North Africa to Italy’s southern shores.
The figures provided by Frontex don’t correlate with the number of asylum applications recently recorded by the EU Agency for Asylum, which showed almost 790,000 asylum claims were made across the bloc between January and October last year, a figure from which Ukrainian applications are already exempt.
Of the new arrivals, Frontex revealed that more than 80 percent were adult men.