RCIN and OZwRCIN projects


Title: The role of Poland's eastern border in global migration systems


Europa XXI 40 (2021)



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29 cm


While Poland has been perceived as a country that mainly receives migrants from the neighbouring Eastern Europe, it is also increasingly now representing an attractive place to work or study for migrants from other countries completely foreign from Poland in terms of their language and culture. However, as data on such international migrations are affected by numerous errors but can be supplemented by long-term statistics on border traffic, the work detailed here has sought: (a) to evaluate longterm trends to the structure of foreign traffic incoming across the country’s eastern border; (b) to identify causes of change in the composition of incoming cross-border traffic in terms of nationality, in relation to the geopolitical situation (pertaining both in Europe and the countries of origin); (c) to define the roles particular sections of Poland’s eastern border play in the migration-pressure context. The study was based on statistical data for the period 1994-2019 obtained from the Polish Border Guard. In an effort to encapsulate current migration tendencies, particular attention was paid to the citizens of Syria, Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, Bangladesh and India. However, analysis also extended to the inflow of citizens of relatively closer migration origin, i.e. from countries like Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Kazakhstan. In the period under investigation, Poland’s eastern border was found to have been subject to the impact of economic factors (influencing cross-border traffic), while also – over time – becoming ever-more susceptible to geopolitical events (e.g. the crisis in Ukraine and the migration crisis in Europe as a whole). Significant growth was to observed, not only (obviously) in numbers incoming from neighbouring countries, but also where other, non-European countries were concerned. Looked at long-term (over the last 30 years), Poland’s eastern border can be seen to have changed in nature several times, transcending local status in favour of global, but also moving in the opposite direction.


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Europa XXI



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oai:rcin.org.pl:233932 ; doi:10.7163/Eu21.2021.40.7 ; 1429-7132 (print) ; 10.7163/Eu21.2021.40.7


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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

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Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Central Library of Geography and Environmental Protection. Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

Projects co-financed by:

European Union. European Regional Development Fund ; Programme Innovative Economy, 2010-2014, Priority Axis 2. R&D infrastructure



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