Young expats are leaving ‘unsafe’ France and heading for Hungary

By Thomas Brooke
5 Min Read

The French government’s insistence on promoting mass immigration into the country has led many French nationals to leave the country in search of improved security and quality of life. Now, many French citizens are finding a safe haven in Central and Eastern Europe, according to French news outlet Boulevard Voltaire.

The article, titled “To flee immigration, these French choose emigration,” makes reference to an Elabe Institute survey conducted in December last year for the French broadcaster BFMTV, which revealed that 67 percent of French people no longer feel safe in the country. As such, more French citizens are seeking to ease their security concerns by emigrating to countries with more conservative immigration policies, primarily in Central and Eastern Europe.

The author, Julien Teller, notes how more than 1.6 million French nationals were estimated to be living abroad as of January 2022. However, the country’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs considers the figure to be far higher, and it could be closer to 2.5 million. The ministry explained the figure is likely to be higher than official estimates due to the fluidity of European mobility and the fact that not all expatriates register their movements.

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Teller explained how a significant number of French ex-pats are not moving for economic reasons, a key factor for most migrants arriving in Europe, but because of “identity motivations.”

While a higher percentage of older French nationals choose countries such as Portugal to enjoy their retirement, a country where more than 120,000 retired French citizens now reside, the younger generation is choosing Central and Eastern Europe countries such as Hungary and Czechia to relocate.

Teller spoke particularly of Hungary, which he claims is a preferred destination for young French workers who no longer feel that living in France is in their best interests.

He cites a French videographer named Simon Vesperini who has relocated to Hungary and produces digital content for his 11,000 subscribers online inviting other French nationals who wish to “leave the decadence” of France to do the same.

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Teller also references YouTube videos published by another French ex-pat, Frédéric Delavier, who tells his 116,000 subscribers how choosing to leave France for Hungary has changed his life.

“For me, the quality of life in Hungary is superior. What I can buy in Hungary, I couldn’t have bought in France at all,” Delavier explains.

Other testimonies include that from Laetitia, a mother who relocated 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 the Boulevard Voltaire publication. “Now, I no longer worry about my children. Aged 23 and 20, they study in Budapest, a quiet city, where they are safe. It changed my life!”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said often that Christians would flee from the West to Hungary in the future.

“During our lifetime, a great many Christians will come to Hungary from Western Europe,” Orbán said in 2020. “Yes, I think the tendency that many are coming back from Western Europe will continue. Some are buying up smaller settlements wholesale, and we must be prepared for that.”

Many newcomers may not necessarily be Christian, but view the country as a safe haven in terms of public safety and even freedom of expression. Hungarian officials have repeatedly touted Hungary’s relative safety compared to Western countries like France and Germany.

According to the Numbeo Quality of Life index, France ranks 30th overall in the world, while Hungary is ranked 40th; however, this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Analysis of the safety index sees France awarded just 44.7, the second-lowest score in Europe and better only than Belarus. In contrast, countries such as Czechia (73.4) have one of the highest ratings on the continent, while Poland (70.8), Slovakia (68.6), and Hungary (66.1) also post highly respectable scores.

As Remix News previously reported, European citizens are much less likely to be robbed in countries like Hungary and Poland compared to Western European countries, and this also applies to other serious crime statistics, such as rape.

Czechia and Hungary also record the two best scores in Europe for the ratio of home prices to income ratio, a key factor for young ex-pats wanting to get onto the property ladder.

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