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Estonians believe immigration to be EU's biggest concern

TALLINN – The citizens of Estonia believe that the most burning problem of the European Union is immigration and the amount of people who believe so has increased compared with spring, it appears from the results of an Eurobarometer survey carried out in November and published on Thursday.

Altogether 65 percent of Estonians believe immigration to be the most important issue facing the European Union. This is the highest indicator in the whole of the European Union. The migration issue was indeed considered the most important on average across the European Union as well, but this was nevertheless placed first on the list by only 40 percent of all respondents.

The topicality of the issue of immigration has increased both in the eyes of the residents of Estonia as well as in the European Union as a whole. In March of last year, altogether 62 percent of Estonians and 38 percent of European Union citizens as a whole considered immigration to be the greatest concern of the European Union.

Immigration was highlighted as the greatest concern in all member states except Portugal and Sweden, where terrorism and the issue of climate were considered the most burning topics, respectively.

Following Estonia, immigration was considered the highest problem by residents of Malta with 61 percent, the Czech Republic and Slovenia both with 58 percent, Hungary with 54 percent and Bulgaria with 51 percent. In other member states, the indicator remained below 50 percent.

According to the methodology of the survey, each respondents could name two issues that they considered to be the greatest problems of the European Union.

The topic of terrorism was also a more burning concern for the residents of Estonia than the average assessment of the issue in the European Union. Altogether 25 percent of Estonian respondents considered it an important concern, while the European Union average stood at 20 percent.

Among the two important topics names, 14 percent of the respondents of Estonia mentioned the state of the state budget, 12 percent were concerned about the economic situation, 11 percent about the international impact of the European Union, 8 percent feared climate change and the same amount of respondents were concerned about price hikes. Altogether 6 percent highlighted the environment and crime, 5 percent mentioned the topic of energy supply and 3 percent were concerned about the issue of pensions and taxes.

Commissioned by Eurobarometer, the survey was carried out by pollster Kantar in all European Union member states from November 8 to 22, during which approximately 1,000 voting-age citizens were interviewed in each member state.

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