MS Risk Blog

Latest Poll Shows Majority of Poles Willing to Help Refugees

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According to a European Union (EU) poll released earlier this month, a majority of Poles want their government to help refugees, a result that may be seen as in stark contrast with Warsaw’s opposition to an EU plan to support asylum seekers across the continent.

The nationalist-minded, eurosceptic government in Poland has refused to take in a single asylum seeker under th EU’s plan, which is mean to relocate across Europe refugees who have reached the continent through Italy and Greece after escaping wars and persecution in the Middle East and Africa. Due to its refusal, Poland is now under an EU disciplinary procedure for not applying the EU relocation plan for refugees.

However according to a poll released by the EU on 2 August, 56 percent majority of Polish interviews in a Eurobarometer poll called for Poland to help refugees in reply to a question on whether the country should do so. The figure increased form 53 percent recorded in a pervious poll, which was conducted last autumn. Those who opposed helping refugees decreased to 36 percent from 37. Around 33,000 people were interviewed across Europe for the poll, with some 1,000 being interviewed in Poland. The survey was conducted in May, before the latest friction between Poland and the EU over separate judicial reforms flared up.

Hungary and the Czech Republic are also facing sanctions over the refuges’ relocation plan. Furthermore, Slovakia has also opposed the EU plan, citing security concerns after a number of Islamist attacks in the EU in recent years. Amongst the Eastern European states with governments that are reluctant to take in asylum seekers, Poles are alone in being supportive of refugees, while a broad majority of Czechs, Hungarians and Slovaks say that their countries should not help ease the ongoing migration crisis. On average, 67 percent of EU interviewees stated that their countries should help refugees, with peaks of 90 percent in Sweden, 88 percent in the Netherlands and 87 percent in Denmark.