Europeans have distinct ideas about how newcomers in their society should behave.
From the cliché that immigrants cause crime rates to soar to the wish that newcomers ought to be ready to integrate, Correspondents spoke to a handful of European citizens about what they believe their ideal immigrant to be.
TV editors Billy, 46, an Italian, and his friend Nabil, 49, of a Libyan father and an Italian mother, agree that no immigrant can be ideal. In their opinion, immigrants account for the largest percentage of criminals in Italy, committing robbery, rape and drug trafficking.
“We already pay a lot of taxes that are being spent on useless people who do nothing but sleep,” says Nabil, who believes that Italy has enough economic and social problems of its own.
But not all Europeans we spoke to felt this way. For example, Nori Bek, 23, a Hungarian student working in tourism in Spain, says that the most important thing for a person planning to settle in another country is to be flexible, open-minded and willing to integrate. In addition, an immigrant should not only think of the privileges and benefits that he or she will get but to also seek to be active and useful in the new society, he says.
To be a part of society, according to civil servant Claude, 33, an immigrant has to live as a peaceful person. This means that he or she is free to lead a normal life in any way desired as long as he or she is not breaking the law.
To lead a normal life, says Spanish engineer Raul, 29, an ideal immigrant should already have good work experience in his or her own country. "I prefer immigrants who are smart, educated and able to interact and overcome any differences or problems with society," says Raul. "In short, I am interested in competency and culture."
German student Norina, 25, however, says that she does not care about immigrants’ characteristics or educational level. Rather, what matters is their acceptance of their new society. "Of course, immigrants have the right to criticize some concepts, but they should accept them, and the same applies to refugees. I appreciate that they had to leave their countries, but they should accept the society that embraced them," she says.