A Continent Moving West?

A Continent Moving West?: EU Enlargement and Labour Migration from Central and Eastern Europe

Richard Black
Godfried Engbersen
Marek Okólski
Cristina Panţîru
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 344
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt46n229
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    A Continent Moving West?
    Book Description:

    A Continent Moving West? explores the expansion of migration from countries in Eastern Europe following their accession to the European Union. Fifteen expertly authored chapters address head-on what the consequences of large-scale migration have been since 2007. The analysis is conducted for both origin countries, notably Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, and destination countries, including the UK, the Netherlands and Norway. Particular attention is given to labour market impacts, while also discussing migration policies emerging throughout the continent. Overall, this book testifies to how many of the migration patterns so far generated are temporary, circular or seasonal, thus warranting the label 'incomplete' or 'liquid'. Yet, the fluid nature of such movements is expected to continue, making forecasts for future migration - and its repercussions - highly unreliable. One thing is clear. Conventional notions of migration as a one-way, permanent or long-term process are increasingly becoming wide of the mark. Authors Marta Anacka, Richard Black, Venelin Boshnakov, Krisztina Csedo, Jan de Boom, Stephen Drinkwater, John Eade, Godfried Engbersen, Jon Horgen Friberg, Michal Garapich, Izabela Grabowska-Lusinska, Pawel Kaczmarczyk, Eugenia Markova, Vesselin Mintchev, Joanna Napierala, Krzysztof Nowaczek, Wolfgang Ochel, Marek Okólski, Cristina Pantîru, Swanie Potot, Dumitru Sandu, Erik Snel, Paulina Trevena

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1097-9
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. 1 Introduction Working out a way from East to West: EU enlargement and labour migration from Central and Eastern Europe
    (pp. 7-22)
    Godfried Engbersen, Marek Okólski, Richard Black and Cristina Panţîru

    After the fall of the communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the expectation arose in Western Europe that differences in affluence between East and West would make enormous migration flows inevitable. This expectation was strengthened by political and ethnic tensions in Central and Eastern Europe. At the beginning of the 1990s, theFinancial Timespredicted that 7 million people may leave the former Soviet Union (see Codagnone 1998). Another British newspaper,The Guardian, referred to a meeting of former Russian politicians where a figure of as high as 25 million emigrants from the former Soviet Union to the...

  4. 2 Working conditions for Polish construction workers and domestic cleaners in Oslo: Segmentation, inclusion and the role of policy
    (pp. 23-50)
    Jon Horgen Friberg

    After the European Union enlargement in 2004, migration from new member states in Eastern and Central Europe to old member states in Western Europe became one of the most conspicuous population movements in Europe, affecting the demographic, social and economical situation in both countries of origin and destination. Poland is the dominant origin country, and the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland are the main destinations (Kaczmarczyk & Okólski 2008). But Polish migrants have also entered the labour markets of Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries in substantial numbers. In Norway,² almost 134,000 original work permits have been granted to workers from...

  5. 3 Patterns and determinants of sub-regional migration: A case study of Polish construction workers in Norway
    (pp. 51-72)
    Joanna Napierała and Paulina Trevena

    Accession to the European Union in 2004 has had a profound impact on patterns of Polish labour migration. Norway is a very new country to experience inflows from Poland, with little migration taking place prior to 2004. However, it has seen a sharp increase in the level of migration from Poland, with a pilot study entitled ‘Polish migrants to Oslo’ (PMO, see Friberg in this volume) demonstrating that in the case of the Oslo area, labour migration is strictly based on demand, and driven primarily by the construction sector.

    This chapter argues that migration of workers to the construction sector...

  6. 4 What’s behind the figures? An investigation into recent Polish migration to the UK
    (pp. 73-88)
    Stephen Drinkwater, John Eade and Michal Garapich

    Migratory movements between the EU accession states and the United Kingdom following 2004 enlargement have been described as the largest-ever migration wave to have arrived in the UK (Salt & Rees 2006), and have already generated an increasing diverse set of scientific studies. It can be argued that this interest is not just attributable to the undisputable size of these flows. Because of their legal visibility, demographers, economists and sociologists have access to an array of datasets through which the composition of these flows can be analysed. This scientific visibility, which has been the result of a legal change, should not...

  7. 5 Markets and networks: Channels towards the employment of Eastern European professionals and graduates in London
    (pp. 89-114)
    Krisztina Csedõ

    Selective towards ‘high skills’, contemporary migration and mobility favours the well-educated, a growing share of whom move within globally integrated and expanding labour markets. Understanding this mobility is crucial because of its assumed impact on the global economy, politics and society. Attracting and retaining professionals is seen as a new tool for improving economic competitiveness and growth: young, highly educated, professional migrants add value to the economy through their supposedly high productivity rates. It is for this reason that countries are in competition for human resource skills perceived as representing national economic resources (see Salt 2005).

    Yet, relatively little is...

  8. 6 ‘A van full of Poles’: Liquid migration from Central and Eastern Europe
    (pp. 115-140)
    Godfried Engbersen, Erik Snel and Jan de Boom

    In May 2004, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom opened up their labour markets to citizens of the new member states in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). In the summer of 2006, Greece, Portugal and Spain also allowed workers from the new accession countries access to their labour markets. The Netherlands followed in May 2007. For Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in January 2007, a transition period is in force. Workers from these two countries still need a work permit in order to work in the Netherlands. The Netherlands could be described as a ‘third phase’ country, in...

  9. 7 Direct demographic consequences of post-accession migration for Poland
    (pp. 141-164)
    Marta Anacka and Marek Okólski

    This chapter is devoted to demographic consequences of the post-accession migration for Poland. Based on official data published by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), it is estimated that between 1 May 2004 – the day when eight Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries joined the European Union – and 31 December 2006, the stock of temporary Polish migrants increased by over one million. That probably represents the most intense outflow ever from Poland during peacetime. Drawing from the Labour Force Survey data, we examine how this enormous post-accession out-migration from Poland has been distributed across Polish regions and various categories...

  10. 8 Brains on the move? Recent migration of the highly skilled from Poland and its consequences
    (pp. 165-186)
    Paweł Kaczmarczyk

    Poland is usually perceived and described as a typical country of emigration. International migration does in fact play a significant role in the contemporary history of Poland and in the process of its socioeconomic development. However, until the late 1990s migration-related issues were almost absent in public debate with a few exceptions, such as post-1968 migration resulting from the anti-Zionist campaign, migration of ‘ethnic Germans’ in the 1950s and 1970s or politically driven migration in the 1980s. The debate on the causes and consequences of migration started yet again prior to Poland’s accession to the European Union as part of...

  11. 9 Skills shortage, emigration and unemployment in Poland: Causes and implications of disequilibrium in the Polish labour market
    (pp. 187-206)
    Izabela Grabowska-Lusinska

    The aim of this chapter is to scrutinise the apparently overlapping research problems of skill shortage, emigration and unemployment in Poland, focusing both on the causes and implications of disequilibrium in the Polish labour market. The chapter shows that there is no straightforward relationship (or correlation) between skill shortages and the outflow of people. Rather, the outflow of people (including seasonal, pendulum migration) is one among a set of factors that impacts skill shortages in Poland and cannot be analysed separately from these other factors.

    The first section of the chapter provides an overview of labour market adjustments and associated...

  12. 10 Optimising migration effects: A perspective from Bulgaria
    (pp. 207-230)
    Eugenia Markova

    Research on Bulgarian migration has been rather sketchy, often being based either on small purposive samples in selected host countries or on macro data of unreliable quality from Bulgaria itself. More recently, some analyses have focused on certain socio-economic impacts of the emigration phenomenon on Bulgaria. These analyses mainly refer to the effects of remittances and of a ‘brain drain’ on labour supply and on family structures, particularly on the children of migrant parents.

    A better and more thorough understanding of the positive and negative consequences of migration for Bulgaria is needed as this would heighten the possibility for policymaking,...

  13. 11 Return migration and development prospects after EU integration: Empirical evidence from Bulgaria
    (pp. 231-248)
    Vesselin Mintchev and Venelin Boshnakov

    Substantial research interest has been directed towards the intensified out-migration from Central and Eastern Europe’s (CEE) transition countries since the start of reforms in the early 1990s. This out-migration has been an important aspect of the radical socio-economic changes in post-communist countries, and a number of issues have driven the debate about the effects of migration to Western Europe on labour markets and long-term demographic trends. Although many EU countries started to reassess their migration policies upon considering the benefits of labour migration (regarding the labour shortages in some economic sectors), there is still much concern about increased trafficking of...

  14. 12 Transitioning strategies of economic survival: Romanian migration during the transition process
    (pp. 249-270)
    Swanie Potot

    Whereas West European countries often treat economic migration from poorer countries with a certain degree of misgiving, in departure regions migration is often viewed as a valuable opportunity, a way of opening new horizons. This chapter deals with temporary Romanian migrations to Western Europe, focusing particularly on understanding their causes and effects in the source country.

    The chapter draws on several years of qualitative fieldwork conducted with Romanian migrants both within their home regions and during their stays in France (Paris and Nice), Spain and the UK. It concentrates on two particular groups. The first is composed of relatively young...

  15. 13 Modernising Romanian society through temporary work abroad
    (pp. 271-288)
    Dumitru Sandu

    The consequences of migration are rarely integrated into solid theoretical constructions. The main approach in the literature seems to be focused on designing theories that explain the determinants of migration. ‘Neoclassical economics’, ‘new economics’, ‘segmented labour market’, ‘world system’, ‘social capital’ or ‘cumulative causation’ theories (Massey, Arango, Hugo, Kouaouci, Pellegrino & Taylor 1998) are all centred primarily on determinants of international migration rather than the discussion of the consequences of this phenomenon. This situation can be partly explained by the fact that it is quite difficult to build a theory of migration consequences, as consequences could be intended or unintended, manifest...

  16. 14 Pressure of migration on social protection systems in the enlarged EU
    (pp. 289-312)
    Krzysztof Nowaczek

    Since the accession of ten new member states in 2004, the formal division between Western and Eastern European countries has diminished. However, despite clear benefits from this development, in the view of some commentators, accession has had a negative impact. One year before the enlargement, Migration Watch, a conservative London-based think-tank criticised the decision of the UK government claiming that the politicians fostered ‘(…) inward flows of people on a scale unknown in our history – without any apparent thought for the consequences’ (Migration Watch 2003). One of the alleged consequences is a pressure of new immigrants on fragile social...

  17. 15 The EU Directive on Free Movement: A challenge for the European welfare state?
    (pp. 313-332)
    Wolfgang Ochel

    The European Union Directive on Free Movement (2004, herein referred to as the Directive) has extended the right of free movement to non-gainfully employed (inactive) EU citizens. At the same time, this group of persons has been given access to the welfare benefits of host countries. Moreover, the right of residence of gainfully employed EU citizens (employees and self-employed persons) has been broadened. People falling into this category already had the right to take up residence in other EU member countries. Nonetheless, permanent right of residence after a stay of five years was only granted if the applicants had sufficient...

  18. Notes on contributors
    (pp. 333-336)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 337-341)