General


Age of anxiety detected in key European Union countries

by Ray Clancy on April 18, 2017

People in parts of Europe are becoming more pessimistic with research highlighting a growing trend in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Poland and Sweden of widespread gloom and anxiety.

The pan-European study found low levels of trust in both European Union and national political institutions and less support for cultural and ethnic diversity at a time when immigration has become a major issue in many countries.

The research, led by British based think tank Demos, also found that the majority in every country apart from France regard globalisation as having been a positive force in their country, and there is generally widespread support for other aspects of social liberalism, including same sex marriage and women’s economic emancipation.

Some five think tanks contributed to the study to put together a snapshot of feelings in the six major countries in the EU and sought to find out views on the outlook for 2017 as well as an insight into each of their respective social, cultural, economic, historical and political environments.

France was found to be the most pessimistic with a distrust and despair taking hold in the run up to this month’s first round of the 2017 Presidential Elections, with the vast majority of citizens believing both further terrorism and financial crises are imminent.

The research recorded an ‘acute sense of economic and security concerns’ along with distinctly negative views about both globalisation and cultural diversity, compared to other EU member states.

In the UK the research detected a big divide between those who welcome globalisation and see leaving the EU as a positive move and those who have a more closed global attitude views on international cooperation, cultural diversity, frequency of international travel, and the breadth of social and work networks displaying a gulf.

People in Germany are concerned about the EU’s impact on their national finances and welfare system, and large minorities are also concerned about its capacity to erode national identity and compromise employment levels. It also found a significant gulf of understanding between German citizens and politians who dismiss concerns as generalised or misplaced.

Anti-immigration feeling has been growing in Sweden which has always been regarded as one of the more liberal countries in the EU. It detected a growth in nationalist views.

Poland remains strongly pro-European and in favour of globalisation, despite the election of a far right populist Government but Government supporters were found to hold much stronger fears of Islamic terrorism, migration and national security than economic matters.

While Spain stands as an exception to the trend towards far right populism but the research found that attitudes towards immigration are hardening and many citizens believe it should be reduced to help boost the economy and job prospects.

‘The picture painted by the research is certainly cause for concern for those who would like to see Europe, and a post-Brexit UK remain both internally cohesive and open to the world. There is no doubt that we are living through a transition that feels cataclysmic in nature, disruptive, challenging and potentially dangerous,’ said Sophie Gaston, head of international projects at Demos.

‘But the question as to whether this is the beginning or the end of something has not yet been decided. It is important that European governments, and the European Union itself, do not succumb to reactive policy making and short term thinking to try to stem the tide of populism, nationalism and authoritarianism,’ she added.

{ 0 comments }

Thumbnail image for Presidential candidate urges French expats to leave London

Presidential candidate urges French expats to leave London

February 23, 2017 General

French expats living in London have been told by one of the candidates in the Presidential election to move back to France. The Centre pro Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron had a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May and then told a meeting of 2,000 French citizens that they should see Brexit as an opportunity […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for International Students Rate Norway as Top Country in Europe

International Students Rate Norway as Top Country in Europe

October 22, 2016 Britain

Want to attend university abroad? New research might help you decide on your decision. International students rate Norway as top in terms of satisfaction, followed by Ireland, Poland, Finland, and the UK to round out the top five – this according to a report from Study Portals. Students were asked by Study Portals, which compares […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Boom in International Travel expected over next decade: Study

Boom in International Travel expected over next decade: Study

July 27, 2016 General

More than 280-million households around the world plan on making at least one international trip each year by 2025, according to new research by Visa in conjunction with Oxford Economics. The 35 per cent increase year over year is attributed to a greater number of people having the money to travel. The rise of middle […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Ensuring your healthcare abroad: 6 things to consider

Ensuring your healthcare abroad: 6 things to consider

June 30, 2016 General

The following article was provided by Cigna Global and in no way represents the opinions of Expatforum.com staff or its community members. When relocating to a new country, it’s very important to secure peace of mind in as many aspects of your new life as possible; and ensuring that you and your family are covered […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Why expats choose International Health Insurance

Why expats choose International Health Insurance

March 1, 2016 General

The following article was provided by Cigna Global and in no way represents the opinions of Expatforum.com staff or its community members. Moving abroad can be a stressful process that requires plenty of planning, time and energy. When becoming an expat, you have to take into account many factors for your relocation – and healthcare […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Experience abroad helps with working life, new research suggests

Experience abroad helps with working life, new research suggests

January 19, 2016 General

International experience is one of the keys to having a focused role in your career and working life, according to a new report. Almost half of people who have spent time abroad have gone on to have a productive and focused role in their work, says the research from the British Council, the UK’s international […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Weather makes British people move abroad, research finds

Weather makes British people move abroad, research finds

December 25, 2015 General

As the UK is battered by winter storms, research has found that the climate is one of the major factors that make British people want to move abroad. Some 45% mentioned the weather in a survey when asked the major reasons for wanting to become an expat compared to just 29% of people from other […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for More students from India and China attracted to study in New Zealand

More students from India and China attracted to study in New Zealand

September 3, 2015 General

New Zealand is proving popular with overseas students with new figures showing that tertiary institutions have seen a rise in Indian and Chinese students on the back of exceptionally strong migration figures. Statistics New Zealand says the number of permanent and long term migrants in the year to July was a net 59,600 people with […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Scottish island life tops survey of best place for children in the UK

Scottish island life tops survey of best place for children in the UK

August 31, 2015 General

When expats with families move to the UK they tend to settle in London and other big cities but if they want a better quality of life then research suggests they should look to Scotland. But not just any part of Scotland, it is the Orkneys, Shetlands and the Western Isles that come top in […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for UK announces global education programme involving 30 countries

UK announces global education programme involving 30 countries

August 11, 2015 General

More than five million school pupils worldwide will benefit from a new global education programme connecting UK classrooms to over 30 countries around the world. A new programme called Connecting Classrooms will run from 2015 to 2018 and is aimed at helping young people develop the knowledge, skills and values to live and work in […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Learning new language still a hurdle for expats, poll shows

Learning new language still a hurdle for expats, poll shows

July 15, 2015 General

Language is still a major hurdle for many expats worldwide, especially when it is not their native language, new research has found. Some take classes provided by their employer, some try to get by with what they learned at school and upon their arrival in a new country, while many were able to rely on […]

Read the full article →
Thumbnail image for Iceland, Switzerland and Denmark have highest life satisfaction, new research shows

Iceland, Switzerland and Denmark have highest life satisfaction, new research shows

July 6, 2015 Europe

A good lifestyle is what expats are seeking when they move abroad, however, a new global study has found that satisfaction scores have not recovered to pre-economic downturn levels in many countries. More than half of the countries covered by the research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have some way to […]

Read the full article →