Anti-migrant sentiment prevalent in Europe – What about Serbia?

Young people in certain parts of Europe are becoming increasingly opposed to immigration compared to older generations, according to a recent analysis conducted by The Guardian daily. Negative attitudes towards migration have intensified in the run-up to the European Union elections, which ended on Sunday.

The results show that Millennials are very strong critics of migrants, both those fleeing wars and poverty and those who come to the West for economic reasons. Their successors, i.e. generation Z, share a similar sentiment.

According to The Guardian, it seems that the negative attitudes of young people regarding immigration are getting stronger and that the generation gap is becoming more pronounced.

The survey covered four generations and showed that among the Millennials and Generation Z, the majority have a negative attitude towards people coming from outside the European Union. However, anti-immigration sentiment also prevails among baby boomers and Generation X.

In Slovenia, the Millennials have a negative view of immigration (74 percent of them), while this sentiment is less pronounced among the youngest generations.

The situation is similar in France, where only one in four young people are against immigrants, while, when it comes to older generations, two-thirds are opposed to immigrants coming to their country.

Hungarians have shown the most pronounced negative attitudes, whose prime minister has repeatedly called for mass illegal immigration to stop. Statistics show that in Hungary the oldest and youngest residents share the same negative attitude towards immigrants in almost the same numbers.

According to research conducted by the Belgrade-based Security Policy Centre in March 2022, our country’s population mostly reacts negatively to immigrants, believing that they are in a better position and that the state helps them more than its own citizens. More precisely, they think that migrants in Serbia have a privileged status compared to the local population.

Recently, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, stated that the greatest degree of disdain is shown towards migrants passing through Serbia.

According to data collated by the National Employment Service, more than 51,000 work permits were issued to foreign nationals last year alone, while around 14,000 permits were issued until May of this year. 20,431 work permits were issued to foreigners for the same period last year.

Miljana Pejić from the Youth of Serbia Umbrella Organization said that the views of young people in Serbia regarding migrants were very divided and that they primarily depended on how close are migrants to the local population culturally and traditionally.

“In general, young people have a much more positive attitude towards nationalities that are culturally close to us and they feel some distance towards those nationalities that at this moment, in the media and political narrative, are generally not viewed as brotherly nations, i.e. as someone who doesn’t share our societal values”, she added.

(Euronews, 13.06.2024)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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