Europeans want governments to focus more on curbing migration than climate change, a study says

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Europeans focus more on curbing immigration than on climate change and less than 15% of those interviewed across the globe consider climate issues to be among the top three priorities for their government, according to a global study on Wednesday.

“Many European countries have seen a sharp rise in the share of people who say that ‘reducing immigration’ should be a top government priority,” said the study commissioned by the Denmark-based think tank Alliance of Democracies Foundation.

Germany was in the lead with 44% when it comes to people wanting their government to focus on reducing immigration, while nearly a quarter of the Germans surveyed said fighting climate change was a priority.

Globally, 33% believe climate change is one of the world’s three main challenges, but only 14% say fighting it should be among the top three priorities for their government.

Based on almost 63,000 interviews in 53 countries, the Democracy Perception Index found that 85% of those polled say that it’s important to have democracy in their country. However, governments don’t always live up to people’s expectations. While 58% of respondents were satisfied with the state of democracy in their country, the remainder were not.

The study said dissatisfaction was not limited to non-democratic countries. It was also prevalent in the U.S., Europe and in other places with a long democratic tradition. In Europe, about a third of Hungarians believe they live in a democracy.

The survey was based on interviews conducted in February and April. The margin of error across all countries sampled was around 2.9 percentage points.

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