Refugee attitudes - Germany

In recent years, #Germany became one of the most desired #immigration countries in #Europe and all around the world. In 2020 there were 11.4 million #refugees and other #migrants in Germany, accounting for 13.7% of the population.


The challenges refugees face within their host countries depend not only on situational circumstances, but also the attitudes within the host country population. Luckily, there is a strong tradition of refugee protection in Germany. A large majority of Germans believe that countries have an obligation to accept refugees.


Yet, there is a growing concern about the long-term cultural impact of #migration. 59% of Germans expressed concern about the negative externalities of immigration, but also remained open to its potential economic benefits and supportive of the moral obligation to protect refugees.


Additionally, there has been a rise in #far-right populist attitudes, evident through the success of the #AfD party in the 2017 parliamentary election. The majority of the AfD’s supporters consists of individuals younger than 40. Their nationalist, anti-immigrant ideas contradict the image Germany has been struggling to build for itself since the end of World War II. Older individuals are more familiar with this struggle. They experience collective guilt more intensely, as they lived through much of Germany’s turbulent history.


Immigration was a key issue in 2015, but it has swiftly declined in importance. Whereas once more than 50% of poll respondents believed it was one of the top two issues in Germany, this number has consistently declined and dropped to around 12% in spring 2021.


The private sector is actively engaged in supporting the integration of refugees and other migrants into German society and the economy. Often working in partnership, they have spearheaded initiatives offering practical support and employment opportunities for refugees and other migrants.


Even though negative attitudes are present on one part of the political spectrum, it is still possible to say that Germany as a whole remains a welcoming country offering many opportunities for incoming refugees.

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