The reception of Ukrainian refugees is decreasing

Although the proportion of adults living in Hungary who accept refugees from war and famine is twice as high as the number who oppose it (63 percent versus 32 percent), our country is one of the least hopeful. European and global, and has experienced significant restructuring compared to the start of the war.

In 2022, 71 percent of Hungarians still supported the possibility of fleeing to other countries, including our country, because of war or persecution, a decrease of 8 percentage points this year.

A similar trend can be observed in Ukraine’s neighbor Poland, although the proportion of supporters is still higher in our country than last year. In contrast, for example, in Great Britain, the percentage of people who support accepting refugees is higher now than in 2022.

In line with the global average (58 percent), Hungarians agree with the statement that refugees actually came to our country for economic reasons or to use our welfare services. However, closing our borders divides public opinion dramatically: Hungarians support and oppose us not letting in refugees in equal proportions (46 percent and 47 percent).

Here, too, we can see a change similar to the one above: in 2022, only 32 percent of Hungarians supported closing the borders, an increase of 14 percentage points this year. At the same time, the opinion of the Hungarians was not taken lightly: Germany, the Netherlands and Italy had the same opinion last year and this year. Conversely, more than half of Poles are against closing borders.

For comparison, we also looked at an Ipsos survey published in January 2023 that measured opinions about the war in Ukraine. In one section, various statements were made and respondents responded whether they agreed or not. 85 percent of Hungarian respondents agreed with the statement that military participation in the war in Ukraine should be avoided, while the proportion was 61 percent for neighboring Poles. Besides

59 percent of Hungarians agreed that sovereign nations should be supported if attacked by other countries, while 78 percent of Poles agreed.

Only a third of the Hungarian population would agree to limit the heat to maintain sanctions on Russian oil and gas, and less than half would exclude the Russians from international sports. 43 percent agreed that if we do nothing in Ukraine, the Russians could cause conflict in other parts of Europe and Asia, while 60 percent thought the war in Ukraine was a Ukrainian problem and should not be interfered with.

With all of this, we come to another part of the study published in June, in which they asked what a given country’s government should do about refugees already living there. Among all countries, 40 percent would allow refugees to stay already but not others, while 41 percent would allow continued immigration, while 19 percent would deport refugees and close borders.

For Hungarians, the proportions are slightly different:

Two out of five fellow citizens would accept additional refugees (40 percent);

And two who have arrived so far (37 percent) support staying, but not allowing more refugees. At the same time, 23 percent would evict those who are here. In Italy and Germany, the proportions are similar, but in Poland, the preference for open borders is in the majority.


The survey based on this research was conducted in most countries on the Global Advisor online interface between April 21 and May 5, 2023. 2,200 people were interviewed in India, 1,000 in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and the United States, and 500 in other countries. In most countries participating in the survey, including all European countries, the results of the survey can be considered representative, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points for a sample of 1,000 people and 5 percentage points for a sample of 500 people. .

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