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Abstract  

As the adoption of the Hungarian simplified naturalisation scheme raised much tension both in the neighbouring countries of Hungary and in the main host countries of EU citizens, this paper summarises the nature of such reactions and the most frequent fears that EU states expressed. The main aim of the study is to show what effects a country’s modification of its citizenship rules may have on the situations of other EU member-states and European Union citizens. The article also raises one practical aspect of the situation that evolved as a result of the answer by Slovakia to the Hungarian modifications – namely the ex lege withdrawal of Slovakian citizenship if a person acquires a new one from another country. It introduces in detail the free-movement aspects of ethnic Hungarians losing their Slovakian citizenship, while not leaving their homeland in Slovakia, arguing that people in such a situation may rightfully and immediately be eligible for permanent residence rights, which would provide them with a higher level of protection.

Abstract  

This paper examines migratory movements into Poland with a special emphasis on refugee mobility. In the past twenty years, almost 90 000 Chechen refugees have come to Poland, as it was the first safe country they reached. According to the Office for Foreigners data they constituted approximately 90 per cent of applicants for refugee status, 38 per cent of persons granted refugee status, 90 per cent of persons granted ‘tolerated status’ and 93 per cent of persons granted ‘subsidiary protection status’. However, a peculiarity of the Polish situation, confirmed by official statistics and research, is that refugees treat Poland mainly as a transit country. The author focuses on the issue of integrating Chechen refugee children into the Polish education system, as well as Chechen children granted international protection or waiting to be granted such protection. The results of the study suggest that Polish immigration policy has no impact on the choice of destination of the refugees that were interviewed. None of the interviewees wanted to return to Chechnya, nor did they perceive Poland as a destination country. Children with refugee status, which enables them to stay legally in the Schengen area, ‘disappear’ not only from the Polish educational system but from Poland as a whole as well. This phenomenon hampers the possibility of achieving educational success when working with foreign children, and it challenges the immense efforts by Polish institutions to integrate refugee children into the school and the local community. Both official statistical data and research results were used in this paper.

Abstract  

The break-up of the former Yugoslavia resulted in the establishment of seven states with manifestly different citizenship regimes. Relating the politics of citizenship to the dominant nation-building projects, this paper argues that in the post-Yugoslav countries in which nation-building projects are consolidated (Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia) citizenship regimes converge around ethnic inclusiveness, while in those where nation building is contested (Macedonia and Montenegro) territorial rather than ethnic attachments are articulated in citizenship policies. In the case of Kosovo, and to a certain degree Bosnia and Herzegovina, policies emphasise territory due to international involvement in the shaping of their citizenship regimes. Even though all of these states have adopted ius sanguinis as the main mechanism of citizenship attribution at birth, the different approaches to naturalisation and dual citizenship indicate that the politics of citizenship are inextricably linked to the questions of nation building and statehood. To explore these issues, the paper first outlines the main traits of citizenship policies in contested and consolidated states. It proceeds by looking at different naturalisation requirements in the two groups of states. It argues that extension to ethnic kin occurs only in countries in which statehood and nation building are consolidated, where it serves to project an image of national unity. In states that are challenged by several competing nation-building projects, citizenship attribution through ethnic kinship is impossible due to lack of internal unity. The paper also analyses approaches to dual citizenship, identifying patterns of openness and restrictiveness. By doing so, it links the politics of citizenship to the interaction of foreign policy mechanisms in post-Yugoslav countries and identifies the points where these regimes overlap or conflict with each other.

Abstract  

This paper unpacks the legitimacy gap existing between post-communist policies of citizenship restitution, the experiences of these policies, and the media coverage of these policies. Considering citizenship restitution first as analogous to property restitution, theoretically citizenship restitution appears as compensatory, to right the wrongs of communist- and Soviet-era seizures and border changes, and appears to establish citizenship restitution as a right. Using UK media coverage of Romania’s policy of citizenship restitution vis-à-vis Moldova, the paper shows the extent to which this policy is framed as an illegitimate loophole propagated by a ‘Romanian Other’ which is ‘giving out’ EU passports, exploited by an impoverished and criminal ‘Moldovan Other’, and inflicted on a ‘UK Self’ that is powerless to stem the tide of migration and block routes to gaining access to the EU via such policies. However, the paper also contrasts, and challenges, this media framing by using interviews with those acquiring Romanian citizenship in Moldova to demonstrate the extent to which acquiring Romanian citizenship in Moldova is a costly and lengthy procedure. Overall, the paper shows the extent to which citizenship restitution is a contested procedure, constructed as a right by the state seeking to compensate former citizens, and as illegitimate by those who construct a logic resulting from feeling threatened by policies of citizenship restitution.

Abstract  

The Return Directive allows for the detention of minors during removal proceedings, but only as a ‘last resort’, for ‘the shortest appropriate period of time’ and with the primary consideration of the ‘best interests of the child’. While the Directive attempted to provide some safeguards to minors, these are undermined throughout, as the enforcement of such provisions depends significantly on their incorporation into domestic law. I provide an overview of the EU detention policy, map the existing domestic law framework in light of the benchmarks set out by the Directive and human rights instruments, and argue that there is a lack of consistency in the case study of Poland. In doing so, I analyse the limitations to detaining minors in light of the human rights treaties, of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights, and of the role of the monitoring body – the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In discussing the different types of jurisprudence, I illustrate how different bodies speak with the same voice on the detention of minors. Based on these findings I attempt to contribute to the policy debate on how to reconcile and balance the implications of two policy objectives affecting irregular migrant children - the protection of minors and immigration enforcement. I identify detention policy aspects, for which the legislation should be further harmonised, and I develop models of good practices based on other Member States’ practices, thus providing a set of policy recommendations to the Polish legislator as to what fair and effective irregular migration governance might entail.

Abstract  

This paper examines the Albanian state–nation constellation in the Balkans in the light of the European Union (EU) integration process with a focus on citizenship configurations in Kosovo and Albania. It addresses an important puzzle: why legal norms of citizenship do not follow the emerging practice of stronger trans-border co-operation in the Albanian ethnic and cultural space. The study shows that the process of EU integration is the key to understanding and explaining this puzzle, for it provides an opportunity for ‘constructive ambiguity’ around which both ethnic and statist brands of Albanian nationalism, as well as various elite fractions, can coalesce and coexist. In a wider context, Albanian citizenship configurations are shaped by the ever-evolving complex relationship between nation, state and Europe.

Abstract  

The article applies the concept of anchoring, defined as the process of searching for footholds and points of reference which allows individuals to acquire socio-psychological stability and security and function effectively in a new environment, to explore complex, multidimensional and flexible adaptation and settlement processes among migrants from Ukraine in Poland. Based on 40 in-depth interviews and questionnaires with migrants resident in Warsaw and its vicinity, we argue that the traditional categories employed for analysing migrants’ adaptation and settlement such as 'integration' or 'assimilation' are not always adequate to capture the way of functioning and experience of contemporary Ukrainian migrants. Rather than traditional categories, we propose to apply the concept of anchoring which enables us to capture Ukrainians’ 'fluid' migration, drifting lives and complex identities as well as mechanisms of settling down in terms of searching for relative stability rather than putting down roots. The paper discusses the ambiguous position of Ukrainian migrants in Poland constructed as neither the strangers nor the same, gives insight into their drifting lives and illuminates ways of coping with temporariness and establishing anchors providing migrants with a sense of stability and security. This approach, linking identity, security and incorporation, emphasises, on the one hand, the psychological and emotional aspects of establishing new footholds and, on the other hand, tangible anchors and structural constraints. Its added value lies in the fact that it allows for complexity, simultaneity and changeability of anchoring and the reverse processes of un-anchoring to be included.