Europeans are leaning towards populist and right-wing parties because they fear globalisation, according to the findings of a new EU-wide survey.
Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation, which polled nearly 15,000 people across the EU member states, released the study on November 30. The findings suggest 45% of Europeans view globalisation as a menace rather than an opportunity.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the study showed that related fears were most pronounced in Austria where 55% of respondents viewed globalisation as a threat. France is a close second, with 54% of those polled expressing the same view.
While France and Austria are the only two EU nations where a majority of people voiced that opinion, the lowest rate was recorded in the UK, but even there it stands at an alarmingly high 36%.
“The established parties need to incorporate globalisation fears into their work,” said the chairman of the Bertelsmann Foundation, Aart de Geus, in a statement, adding that a growing number of Europeans felt they had been left behind.
According to DW, the study findings suggest that the lower people’s education levels and the older they were, the higher the likelihood of them rejecting globalisation.