Poland Becomes Destination Country for Migration

A 2022 report by the Union of Polish Metropolises showed that the number of inhabitants of Poland surpassed 41 million after the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the first months after the start of the war, which the report describes as unprecedented in the history of the country.

"Poland right now has the majority of features of a destination country for migrants," Maciej Duszczyk of the Center of Migration Research at Warsaw University tells BIRN and Gazeta Wyborcza in a joint interview.

"A destination country for migration is one to which more people are coming than are leaving," Duszczyk explains. "It's a country that is starting to be attractive not just as a work place, but also as a location where one could settle for the long term. In such a society, the migrants are active on the labour market, but also in education and the health sector, and in every social and public activity."

With Poland having been one of Europe's most homogeneous societies in terms of ethnicity, race and religion over the last few decades, turning into a destination country for migration constitutes a historic challenge. Whether Poland will be successful or not in meeting this challenge remains to be seen, says Duszczyk.

Maciej Duszczyk, University of Warsaw. Local tensions

Usually, in countries that are typically seen as destination ones for migrants, there are conflicts between the majority population and the new arrivals. But that is not happening yet in Poland, observes Duszczyk.

"In a country that's turning from one of emigration to one of immigration, there are always some tensions forming, for example when it comes to the labour market," the expert says. "We suddenly start to hear accusations that 'the migrants are...

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