ISSN 2300-1682

Central and Eastern European Migration Review

Articles

Abstract  

The importance of skin colour is often neglected in empirical studies of negative attitudes towards minorities. In this study we use data from the 2014/2015 wave of the European Social Survey to analyse explicitly racist attitudes in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. The data was collected before the refugee crisis of 2015–2016, which gives the study a unique opportunity to analyse these attitudes in three of the countries that were among the most hostile to migrants in the EU. The study demonstrates how theoretical perspectives commonly used in explorations of negative attitudes based on ethnicity may be effectively used to analyse racist attitudes. The results show high levels of racist attitudes in both Hungary and the Czech Republic, despite there being very few non-white immigrants in these countries, while, in Poland, the racist attitudes are less widespread. Realistic threats seem to be of little importance for understanding racist attitudes – in contrast, symbolic threats appear to be very important for understanding them. There is also the surprising result that voters for more moderate political parties are no less racist than voters for the more radical political parties in any of the three countries.

 

Abstract  

The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on health systems, on many economic sectors and on the labour market. This critical situation is also accompanied by social destabilisation, which has exacerbated inequalities and severely affected the most disadvantaged population groups, such as migrant workers. This study provides insights into the consequences of the first wave and the lockdown period in Spring 2020 of the Covid-19 pandemic on Romanians living in Italy, using data collected by the International Association Italy-Romania ‘Cuore Romeno’, within a project financed by the Romanian Department for Diaspora and developed to support actions while strengthening the link with Romanian institutions during the pandemic. Findings show that, during the lockdown, two opposite situations occurred among Romanians. Workers in the ‘key sector’ become indispensable and experienced only small changes, while others lost their job or experienced a worsening of working conditions, with lower wages or an increase in working hours. Most workers chose to stay in Italy, relying on their savings or the support of the Italian government. Job losses, not having new employment, and having limited savings all influenced the decision of a smaller group to return to Romania. In conclusion, the analysis suggests that measures adopted should take into consideration that the Covid-19 pandemic might disproportionally hit population groups such as migrants, women, young people and temporary and unprotected workers, particularly those employed in trade, hospitality and agriculture.

Abstract  

This article examines the changing migration projects of Central and Eastern European migrants in Northern Ireland. It sets out the context for settlement scheme applications, linking it to broader hostile environment policies in the UK. It explores the dynamic nature of people’s migration projects and how these have been challenged in the context of Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme. The paper discusses the ruptures in migrants’ narratives in relation to how they envision their future in Northern Ireland and their countries of origin, with some moving towards indeterminacy and some searching for fixity/stability in their migration projects. It examines how the Northern Irish context – and the question of the Irish border specifically – adds an additional layer of complexity to the migrants’ shifting future imaginaries. The paper draws on my covert research and in-depth interviews with CEE migrants, where consent was given retrospectively. It discusses the role of the researcher in cutting the covert/overt continuum and ethical dilemmas in the field.

 

Abstract  

For small, low-to-middle-income countries such as North Macedonia, the prospect of young, educated people leaving their place of residence (i.e. emigrating) can have significant negative societal-level effects. Understanding the complexity of the brain-drain phenomenon and its antecedents is critical to developing multi-level (i.e. global, societal and individual) strategic solutions. A qualitative analysis of several focus-group interviews was used to understand young, educated residents’ reasons either for emigrating or for remaining in North Macedonia. Two overarching themes served to organise the participant-identified drivers for emigration and those opposed to it. Three sub-themes emerged describing the factors for emigration: 1) a lack of professional opportunities, 2) institutional systems, and 3) cultural tightness. Likewise, three sub-themes emerged describing the factors for staying: 1) community, 2) culture and 3) social responsibility. Insights serve to contextualise some of the experiences of young, educated people in small, low-to-middle-income, countries which impact on their emigration decisions.

 

Abstract  

This study investigates the political engagement of Vietnamese immigrants in Poland on social media. It employs the typology of online political participation as a theoretical framework to determine the pattern of online involvement in the political sphere staged by the migrant group. Through analysing materials relating to political discussions created daily on an online community of the Polish Vietnamese, collected by doing netnography, this study shows that the political activism on social media of Vietnamese immigrants in Poland exists and varies. Vietnamese-migrant users discuss homeland politics and express views about political issues in the host country as well as other countries by creating non-mobilising posts (Information and Diffusion), while being inclined to produce posts with calls for action (Instruction and Promotion) to criticise social injustice and mobilise equality. This study also found a growing critical attitude towards homeland politics among Vietnamese-origin individuals in the country. The findings have practical implications for associations and state actors in both the host and home countries to account for the evolvement of the migrant community.

Abstract  

This article describes and analyses Polish diaspora policy changes in the years 2011–2015. Two decades after the rebirth of the Polonia policy in 1989, it was completely rebuilt. Emphasising values and Poland’s obligations towards the diaspora was replaced by paying more attention to the interests and profitability of this policy. The authors demonstrate how New Public Management (NPM) concepts influenced this shift. Analysis of two different sources – documents programming Polish diaspora policy and interviews with experts and persons designing the Polonia policy – confirmed that NPM principles influenced Polish diaspora policy on five dimensions: organisational restructuring, management instruments, budgetary reforms, participation, marketisation/privatisation.

Special Series

Abstract  

This article presents the main recent developments in migration trends to and from Belarus. It studies these trends via the migration systems theory lenses, according to which Belarus belongs to the Eurasian migration system. The most significant migration flows are directed towards Russia, due to the existence of the Union State. However, over the last decade, Belarusian statistics have shown a gradual transformation in the direction of these migration flows. After the recession in Russia in 2015, the number of emigrants from Belarus to EU countries increased. The most significant changes have occurred in the migration dynamics between Belarus and Poland and Lithuania. The existence of the Pole’s Card makes it more difficult to measure the number of Belarusian immigrants in Poland, therefore, I provide a comparative analysis of Belarusian and Polish statistics in order to show a more realistic picture of the number and structure of Belarusian emigrants and the problem of underestimation in the sending country. Particular attention is paid to the consequences of the political situation in Belarus after 2020; this has become an additional push factor for emigrants and may also lead to a further reduction of Belarusian migratory links within the Eurasian migration system. Thus, the statistics for 2021 show a significant increase in the number of Belarusian emigrants to the EU, while emigration to Russia has remained at the same level.