Just one in five Dutch supports completely open EU borders
Fewer than one in five of the Dutch supports the free movement of all people within the EU, according to research by TNS Nipo for the University of Amsterdam.
While 54 percent think EU citizens should be able to work anywhere within the community, that percentage shrinks to just 18 percent when Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are mentioned, the research, quoted by the NRC, shows.
Even supporters of the most pro-EU Dutch parties D66 and GroenLinks show a dramatic slump in support for completely open borders.
While 80 percent of D66 supporters back the principle, just 34 percent say they support open borders when Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are included. D66 is currently the biggest party in the opinion polls, with just over a month to go before the EU elections.
‘I have never before seen such a sharp effect by adding four to five words to a question,’ political communication professor Claes de Vreese told the NRC newspaper.
Prior to the abolition of work permits for people from Bulgaria and Romania there were fears that thousands of people would come to the Netherlands looking for work.
In fact, very few have actually done so.
According to the social affairs ministry, by mid- March, fewer than 1,000 Bulgarians and Romanians had moved to the Netherlands.