The Baltic Region

2021 Vol. 13 №4

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Migration from Post-Soviet countries to Poland and the Baltic States: trends and features

DOI
10.5922/2079-8555-2021-4-5
Pages
79-94

Abstract

This article aims to analyse migration from the post-Soviet space to the north-eastern periphery of the EU (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and examines the hypothesis about these states, once countries of origin, turning into destinations for migrants. A change in the socio-economic paradigm and accession to the EU sped up economic development in the Baltics and Poland. Despite growing welfare and income levels and a decline in the unemployment rate, further economic growth was hampered by the outflow of skilled workforce and resulting labour shortages. In response, the governments of the Baltics and Poland drew up programmes to attract international labour. Soon these countries transformed from exporters of labour into importers. Unlike Western European countries, Poland and, to a lesser extent, the Baltic States are trying to attract migrants from neighbouring nations with similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In the long run, this strategy will facilitate migrant integration into the recipient society. The Polish and Lithuanian governments are devising measures to encourage ethnic Poles and Lithuanians to repatriate from post-Soviet republics. To achieve the aim of the study, we investigate the features of migration flows, trends in migration, migration policies of recipient countries, and the evolution of diaspora policies.

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