Most Dutch are open to refugees who integrate in society

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No image availableNL Times

The vast majority of Dutch are open to refugees being housed in their own municipality, according to a survey done by Necker van Naem among more than 7 thousand people. 

The research office asked the participants a number of refugee-related questions in October last year and then again in February. The proportion of people willing to have refugees living among them increased from 70 percent in October to 73 percent in February. Correspondingly the opponents decreased from 30 percent to 27 percent.

Both those for and against refugees living in their municipalities agree on one thing: it is important that the refugees integrate into Dutch society. Integration is most often named as most important requirement for housing. More than half of opponents name integration as most important and more than a third of supporters. Another often named requirement is psychological help and guidance for the refugees moving into Dutch municipalities.

All the political debates on the asylum crisis and media attention to incidents such as the riots surrounding an asylum center planned for Geldermalsen or sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany over new years, did not affect most of the participants' opinions. Two thirds indicated that political developments and incidents had no effect on what they think about asylum seekers and refugees.

Only a small group of participants completely changed their minds on the issue of housing refugees between October and February. Seven percent went from the no-camp to the yes-camp and four percent went from yes to no.