Hungarian Conservative

Many French Move to Central-Eastern Europe for ‘Identity Reasons’, Study Says

More and more French choose to emigrate to Central-Eastern European countries because they perceive them as safe and offering a better quality of life, according to a study by the Elabe Institute.

The website of Slovenian commercial television Nova24TV reported that the persistence of the French government in promoting mass immigration into the country has caused many French citizens to leave in search of more security and a better quality of life. Now, many French citizens are moving to Central and Eastern European countries as safe havens, according to the French press agency Boulevard Voltaire, as reported by RMX. Hungary is particularly highlighted as a preferred destination for having a strict immigration policy, while also being ranked as one of the safer countries in Eastern Europe and considerably safer than France.

An article titled ‘To Escape Immigration, The French Choose Emigration’ cites a study by the Elabe Institute, conducted last December for the French television station BFMTV, which revealed that 67 per cent of French people in the country no longer feel safe. Therefore, more and more French citizens are emigrating to countries with a more conservative immigration policy, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. The study’s author, Julien Teller, found that in January 2022, more than 1.6 million French citizens were living abroad. In fact, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs believes that the number is much higher and could be closer to 2.5 million. The ministry explained that the number is likely to be higher than official estimates due to the fluidity of European mobility and the fact that not all emigrants report their movements. Teller highlighted that a significant number of French expatriates are not moving for economic reasons, which is a key factor for most migrants who come to Europe, but for ‘identity reasons’. While a larger percentage of older French people choose countries like Portugal for retirement, where more than 120,000 retired French people currently reside,

the younger generation chooses Central and Eastern European countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic.

CEE Countries Perceived as Safe and Secure

The study mentions various testimonies, including that of a mother who moved her family to Hungary during the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘I lived in Nîmes, a city that has changed a lot in a few years,’ she told Boulevard Voltaire. ‘Now I’m no longer worried about the children. They are 23 and 20 years old and studying in Budapest, a peaceful city where they are safe. It has changed my life!’

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has repeatedly said in the past that Christians will flee from the West to Hungary in the future, as a result of the large number of Muslim immigrants in Western countries that have a lenient immigration policy.

The article discusses the views of some newcomers to Hungary who may not necessarily be Christians but view Hungary as a safe haven in terms of public safety and even freedom of expression. Hungarian officials are also quoted as praising Hungary’s relative safety compared to Western countries such as France and Germany. The website cites Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index, which ranks France 30th in the world and Hungary 40th, but notes that this does not tell the whole story. Analysis of the safety index shows that France has received only 44.7 points, which is the second lowest score in Europe and is only ahead of Belarus. Conversely, for example, the Czech Republic has one of the highest scores on the continent (73.4), while Poland (70.8), Slovakia (68.6), and Hungary (66.1) also achieve very respectable scores.

The piece also mentions that there is a much lower likelihood that European citizens will be robbed in countries such as Hungary and Poland compared to Western European countries, and the same applies to the statistics of other serious crimes such as rape. The Czech Republic and Hungary also have the two best results in Europe regarding the housing prices to income ratio, which is a key factor for young citizens who wish to acquire a home.

More and more French choose to emigrate to Central-Eastern European countries because they perceive them as safe and offering a better quality of life, according to a study by the Elabe Institute.