Geografie 2017, 122, 476-499

Eastwards EU enlargements and migration transition in Central and Eastern Europe

Agata Górny

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Centre of Migration Research, Poland

Received January 2017
Accepted July 2017

Most Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries are net-emigration countries, in contrast to Western and Southern European countries, which usually represent net-immigration areas. The economic, demographic and legal outcomes of the 2004 and 2007 EU eastwards enlargements reshaped the migratory context in CEE in many ways. The article demonstrates, however, that in the decade (and more) that has passed since these enlargements, the changes in volumes and patterns of immigration to CEE have not been particularly substantial. This can be linked to the still relatively low economic attractiveness of the CEE region within the EU, and also to the importance of ethnic-based and local movements (but frequently from outside the EU after enlargements) in immigration to this region. These create a basis for, first of all, temporary and circular inflow. The article also acknowledges the diversity in developments in immigration within the CEE region.


Analyses presented in this article were funded by the Polish National Sciences Centre under two research projects: “Two decades of irregular temporariness? An examination of changes in mobility from Ukraine to Poland in a multidimensional perspective” grant no. DEC-2011/B/HS4/02275 and “The economic integration of immigrants in a country in the intermediate phase of the migration cycle – Poland versus selected EU countries” grant no. DEC-2014/14/E/HS4/00387.


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