Governmental Response to Migration and the Nexus with Citizens’ Attitudes

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Abstract

Immigration is one of the most important issues in Europe, especially after the massive influx of forced immigrants into Europe that developed into a migration crisis in 2015. The uneven response of European governments and the variation in European citizens’ attitudes toward migration has raised a question regarding what these attitudes are and if these two dimensions are interrelated. Hence, this study’s aim is to examine the relatedness between European government policies and responses to the 2015 migration crisis, and European citizens’ attitudes toward immigrants and migration issues. It was built upon the assumption that government policy constructs the context in which public attitudes toward migration are shaped, as well as Lasswell’s vision of the importance of contextualizing public policy participation. It employed the European Social Survey dataset and covered twenty-one European states. It also involved using logistic regression to test the ability of the model to predict connections between the European government policies and responses to the 2015 migration crisis and European citizens’ attitudes toward immigrants and migration issues. The study involved running a chi-square test of independence to investigate the significance of the relationship between citizens’ attitudes and European migration policies separately. The results indicate that European governments’ policies and positions on the migration crisis, and European citizens’ attitudes toward immigration issues are related.