Poland’s government wants to reap the economic benefits of immigration while persuading its supporters that it remains opposed to it. With foreign workers coming to the country in record numbers, this is a balancing act that will inevitably collapse – with potentially dangerous consequences.
In 2016, the UK issued more first residence permits to non-EU citizens than any other member state. That’s not a great surprise; but ask people to guess which country came second in the list and few would get it right. The answer is Poland, which gave out 586,000 permits, almost a fifth of all those issued across the entire European Union and well ahead of third-place Germany, with 505,000. Continue reading
The dispute within the EU over the relocation of refugees from Greece and Italy to other countries is now reaching a head, pitting eastern member states, who refuse to take in their allocated share, against their western partners. Following recent calls from the likes of Sweden and Finland to punish those who fail to play their part in easing the burden of the migration crisis, the European Commission today began legal proceedings against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
This is a terrible idea. Continue reading
By Daniel Tilles
Daniel Tilles analyses the intense recent debate in the Polish media over Europe’s current refugee crisis. In this Catholic, conservative and ethnically homogeneous country, disagreement has focused in particular on the dissonance between a Christian duty to help the needy and a desire to defend national culture and identity against the perceived threat of Muslim immigration. He examines the views of a range of Polish outlets from across the ideological spectrum, including Rzeczpospolita, Gazeta Wyborcza, Polityka, Newsweek Polska, Fronda and Tygodnik Powszechny.
As across all of Europe, media discourse in Poland has been dominated recently by the growing refugee crisis on the continent. This is despite the fact that Poland itself has barely been touched by the issue directly. There has been an increase in the number of illegal immigrants detained in Poland this year (including growing numbers from the Middle East and Africa, in the addition to the usual Ukrainians), but the figures pale into insignificance against the experience of countries, such as Hungary, Italy or Germany, that are along the main migration paths. Continue reading