While Poland faces increasing pressure from the Belarussian regime, (mass) immigration is by no means a new phenomenon – it’s just that statistics and estimates differ significantly. In fact, several experts and institutes expect a wave of two million Ukrainian immigrants, according to a recent study by the Migration Research Institute’s Róbert Gönczi.
While the conflict in Eastern Ukraine has undoubtedly contributed to an increase in domestic and cross-border migration, a review of various analyses and data sets makes it clear that the majority of those leaving Ukraine are looking for a better overall standard of living and higher wages, the analyst added.
Due to the country’s poor economic performance and widespread poverty, many Ukrainians choose to spend a few months in Poland in legal employment, taking on seasonal work.
Ukrainian guest workers regularly return for new employment, so short-term stays result in continuous economic immigration.
“Today, it is not possible to say with absolute certainty how long rising Ukrainian emigration will last in the future. Two things are certain: on the one hand, Poles and emigrant Ukrainians both benefit greatly from the established ‘migration ecosystem’ in economic terms,” the study concludes.
On the other hand, until Ukraine’s political position can be stabilized and its economy put on a (sustainable) growth path, the Ukrainian state cannot hope to slow down emigration trends, let alone reverse them, the Migration Research Institute points out.