What awaits the "Polish plumber"? Migration from Poland to Poland
The attacks on the Poles seriously alarmed the Polish leadership. Polish foreign ministers Vitold Vashchikovsky and Polish interior ministers Mariusz Blaszczak arrived in the UK. They appealed to their British colleagues, expressing the opinion that the British authorities should protect the Poles who live in the country. Of course, Poland and Britain are in the coordinate system of European politics in different "weight categories". Therefore, Warsaw is only left to humiliate before London, describing all the good qualities of Polish migrants and, above all, their fairly easy ability to integrate into British society and the lack of potential conflict, unlike African-Asian migrants.
Recall that the UK has long been one of the most important final goals of Polish labor migration. At the end of the 19th century, entire quarters appeared in Great Britain, inhabited by immigrants from Poland (then divided between Russia, Germany and Austria-Hungary). Initially, the bulk of the migrants from Poland were Polish Jews, and then the proportion of Poles began to grow. After the collapse of the socialist system in Poland and the rapid impoverishment of the Polish population, hundreds of thousands of Polish migrants rushed to Western Europe and the UK in the first place. “Polish Plumber” - this phrase has become a common noun, for a long time being the designation for all immigrants from Eastern Europe.
According to the 2015 year, 831 lived in the UK a thousand immigrants from Poland. Of course, the actual number of Polish citizens in the UK is even higher - there are also illegal, nowhere to be considered migrants. The Poles are, according to official data, the largest migrant diaspora in the UK. Even Indians and Pakistanis follow them with a significant margin of several tens of thousands of people. However, unlike the Indo-Pakistani, Middle Eastern, African migrants, the Poles really mastered in British society without any problems; they behaved relatively quietly and did not create serious trouble for the local population. Therefore, it is quite possible to understand the Polish leaders - they are doubly hurt that their fellow citizens became the victims of the attacks - harmless hard workers who came to the UK to work, and not in the most prestigious positions.
The number of Polish migrants in the UK began to increase rapidly after the country joined the European Union in 2004. Before that, the Polish diaspora in the UK was much less impressive and consisted mainly of long-standing migrants and their descendants. Among them were a significant part of the Poles, who did not agree with the establishment of a socialist regime in Poland after the end of the Second World War. The increase in the number of Polish migrants in the 2000s was due to unemployment and the low (by European standards) living standards of the population in Poland itself.
The rise of anti-Polish sentiment in the UK, according to analysts, may be associated with the actualization of the topic of migration control after Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. Poles residing in the British capital complain to the press about anti-migrant excesses by local residents. As a rule, such antics have the character of household xenophobia - then someone will call the Pole on the street, or an insulting anti-Polish slogan shout. However, in some areas of the country the situation looks more serious. For example, in the Cambridgeshire county, the Poles began to receive flyers that said “We are leaving the European Union. There will be no more Polish parasites. ” Reports about the growth of anti-Polish sentiment in the UK have contributed to the growth of fears of possible violent actions by the Nazi youth among Polish migrants living in the country.
It is noteworthy that the national youth who attacked the forty-year-old Polish workers in Harlow, for some reason did not choose more complex targets as an object, for example, their peers of Afro-Asian origin. Obviously, the Poles, by virtue of their lesser aggressiveness, criminalization and the absence of highly developed diaspora ties, are considered as an acceptable target for attack. Although, perhaps, there are much more serious motives behind the attacks - for example, the desire of some political players to cleanse Britain from European immigrants.
On the other hand, a negative attitude towards Polish immigrants in a part of British society still has certain grounds. Firstly, according to sociologists, the Poles are the most “giving birth” ethnic group in Great Britain. Polish families are superior in terms of fertility even to Hindus and Pakistanis, not to mention the indigenous English. Secondly, since the Poles are still representatives of European culture and many of them possessed a rather good education from the very beginning, they quickly move from low-skilled labor to more status positions, which cannot but cause concern from the British. Many Britons are simply afraid of competition in the labor market, which they can make Polish workers. Sociologist Miroslav Benetsky emphasizes that if formerly Poles were considered as one of the varieties of cheap labor, along with Indians or Pakistanis, in recent years people from Poland increasingly cease to be content with low social status and low salaries and gradually move to more profitable and status positions. .
Meanwhile, in Poland itself, which has long been one of the main suppliers of labor migrants in Europe, there remains a very cool attitude towards foreigners who come and stay to live and work in Poland. This is, of course, not about representatives of other European nations, but about people from the countries of the Near and Middle East, North Africa. When the leadership of the European Union spoke about the quotas that each country - a member of the European Union should provide for the accommodation of migrants - the so-called. "Refugees", Poland was among the countries that expressed dissatisfaction with the migration policy of the European Union.
In March, 2016, the Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, stated that the country is currently unable to accommodate refugees from the Middle East. This is the expected position of the Polish leadership. The fact is that after the mass emigration to Israel of Jews who survived after World War II, Poland actually turned into a mono-ethnic state. Ethnic Poles are more than 96% of the population. The remaining 4% accounts for small groups of Silesians, Germans, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Jews, Gypsies and Polish-Lithuanian Tatars.
Accordingly, the overwhelming majority of the country's population professes Catholicism, with the exception of small Protestant, Jewish, and Tatar communities practicing Islam. Poland is very protective of its mono-ethnicity. It is quite understandable. The absence of a complex multinational and multi-religious composition of the population of the country to a certain extent can be considered as one of the means of maintaining internal political stability. At least, conflicts on a national basis in Poland cannot occur by definition. Therefore, the Polish leadership, the majority of political parties and, of course, the overwhelming majority of the country's population reacted rather coolly to the idea of the European administration to place in Poland several thousand refugees from the countries of the Near and Middle East.
First of all, Poles fear the emergence of large foreign cultural communities that are completely alien to the local population in terms of religion, culture, mentality, behavioral attitudes. Unlike immigrants from the countries of the Near and Middle East, they have long been accustomed to local religious groups in Poland, they have grown together with the indigenous population and are its integral part.
A typical example is the Polish-Lithuanian Tatars. First, their number in Poland does not exceed 500-600 people (another 7,5 thousand live in Belarus and 3,2 thousand in Lithuania). Secondly, they settled on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the end of the XIV - the beginning of the XV centuries, that is, they had several centuries in common with the Poles and Lithuanians. stories. Third, the Polish-Lithuanian Tatars had long been successfully integrated into Polish society, the regiments formed from them were part of the army of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and then - of the Russian army (Lithuanian-Tatar cavalry regiment). Fourth, at the end of the XVI century. Polish-Lithuanian Tatars switched to Western Russian, and then to Polish. Religious literature was written in Polish in Arabic letters. Naturally, from the new migrants such an example of integration into Polish society, even in the foreseeable future, is not expected.
However, if the Polish society reacted coolly, to put it mildly, to the acceptance of refugees from the countries of the Near and Middle East, Ukrainian migrants met a much more loyal attitude. The flow of migrants from Ukraine became particularly active in the 2015 year, due to the events taking place in Ukraine, above all - the war in the Donbas. In 2015, Polish consular offices issued a total of 925 thousands of visas to Ukrainian citizens, which is 100 thousands of visas more than in 2014. Also, 65 of thousands of citizens of Ukraine received a permanent residence permit in Poland in 2015.
A huge number of Ukrainian migrants in Poland are temporary workers engaged in agriculture. They come to harvest apples, champignons, getting a day-time and sufficiently small salary. But this money is very impressive compared to the level of wages in modern Ukraine. Among agricultural workers in Poland there are many people with higher education, with a wide variety of specialties, from doctors and programmers to journalists. What if the work is bad in Ukraine, and housing and food prices are getting higher and higher? So, Poland, which is a source of labor resources for the UK, the Netherlands and a number of other countries in Western Europe, itself imports labor from a less economically successful Ukraine. It turns out quite an amusing exchange of workers: a Polish plumber goes to England - to repair plumbing in the homes of wealthy Britons, and his place in Krakow or Lublin is occupied by a Ukrainian plumber.
Another large group of Ukrainian migrants is students. From year to year the number of young citizens of Ukraine enrolling in educational institutions in Poland is growing. They are quite condescending and do not create serious obstacles to entry. But here one should not forget about the political background of a more loyal attitude towards Ukrainian migrants. Poland considers Ukraine to be its historical sphere of influence, therefore, it is interested in bringing up a respectful attitude towards Poland and Polish history and culture in Ukrainian citizens. It is for this purpose that the smooth education of Ukrainian students in Polish institutions of higher education is organized. Moreover, Ukrainians often enter humanitarian specialties, which, for obvious reasons, are the most ideological. By the way, the Poles are much more loyal to Ukrainian migrants than to immigrants from the countries of the Near and Middle East. Nevertheless, linguistic and cultural proximity, centuries-old neighborhood, and even living in some states have an effect. However, over a third of Poles see the danger of a large number of Ukrainian migrants staying in the country.
Thus, we see that migration problems are acute for modern Poland. On the one hand, the outflow of able-bodied and qualified Polish citizens to the countries of Western Europe, where they can apply for more favorable wage conditions, does not stop. On the other hand, Poland itself becomes an attractive target for migrants from the territory of neighboring Ukraine. In addition, the European Union is trying to impose on Poland its strategy of accepting and locating Middle Eastern and African migrants, which is completely uncomfortable with a mono-ethnic and conservative Polish society.
The great advantage of Poland’s migration policy, regardless of its relations with Russia, is precisely its focus on protecting the real interests of the Polish people. Criticizing the policy of the European Union, the Polish leadership is concerned about national interests, which, in particular, include the preservation of Poland’s cultural identity. Therefore, Warsaw is negatively disposed towards plans for the placement of Afro-Asian migrants in Polish cities. At the same time, Poland, having certain ambitions in Ukraine, does not refuse to accept Ukrainian migrants. Firstly, they are ready to work for lower wages than the Poles themselves, and secondly, the deployment of a large number of labor migrants from Ukraine is an extra trump card of Polish policy towards Kiev.
- P P 'SЊSЏ RџRѕR "RѕRЅSЃRєRёR№
- http://telegraf.com.ua/, wiadomosci.gazeta.pl, http://polsha24.com/
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