Europe faces the challenge of enormous recent asylum seeker inflows, and the allocation of these immigrants across European countries remains severely skewed, with some countries having a much larger per capita share of asylum applicants than others. Consequently, there is a debate at the EU level on how to allocate asylum seekers in order to tackle this imbalance. The present study focuses on preferences of European citizens towards the supranational policy issue of achieving a more equalized distribution of asylum seekers. Several theoretical arguments point towards asylum seeker intake, general immigrants' legal status, prior immigration stocks, and economic circumstances as explanatory mechanisms at the macro level. We test these propositions using Eurobarometer data from 2015. The results show that a high level of asylum seeker intake and larger immigrant stocks in 2010 are associated with a greater willingness to redistribute asylum seekers. Apart from this, integration policies also play a role: the more inclusive a country's political stance towards Third-Country Nationals, the higher the public support for a better allocation of asylum seekers. These results also emerge when excluding the top five asylum seeking destinations. At the individual level, views of the EU as a competent political actor and general immigration attitudes are substantially related to the support for redistribution efforts. These individual-level patterns occur both in countries with many and in countries with few asylum seekers, indicating that respondents largely take a broad European view on this topic, rather than a national one.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 1026-1051
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.