Commentary V4 is not against foreigners

Does all migration count?

The migration crisis created an image of Central Europe as a hermetically sealed space with a homogenous population. In fact, it is a lie to say that the V4 is against foreigners and their migration.

The Visegrad countries do accept foreigners, or at least they accept as many of them as the rest of Europe. According to Eurostat, in 2017 the most immigrants from countries outside the EU came to Poland (683,000), 87 percent of them said they migrate because of work, which was also the highest share across the EU. While immigration to Sweden, an immigration champion, was motivated by 46.5 percent for family reasons. To put it simply, you travel to Poland for work, but in Sweden you want to settle.

The Czech Republic, on the other hand, has the highest number of employed foreigners from non-EU countries (79.4 percent).  Additionally, the overall share of foreigners in the Czech Republic has risen by 402 percent, compared to 1994. Both EU and non-EU groups have increased at the same pace. Therefore, it is false to say that the V4 selectively accepts only some Eastern European nationalities and overlook others. 

Politicians and citizens of Central Europe are in general not against migration as such. They refuse to be hectored by someone else in terms of migration and asylum policy though. And, quite logically, they don’t want to allow their countries to change due to a large number of unassimilated immigrants with a different culture.

Central European countries prefer a real economic migration over primarily settling. So, if there are voices criticizing Visegrad for not being welcoming to foreigners, they are misinterpreting reality. V4 countries accept many mainly integrable and working migrants, who are able to coexist with its citizens peacefully. And rather often those migrants return to their countries of origin.

It means the V4 has its migration policy under control. Moreover, Visegrad economies are growing, unemployment is low, and foreigners adapt well on the market. There is nothing to be ashamed of.