‘Guarded welcome’ A Review of New Legislation and Institutions Dealing with Migration and Foreigners

  • Slawomir Lodzinski
Part of the Studies in Russia and East Europe book series (SREE)


The beginning of the 1990s was a decisive moment for the process of migration in Poland, as in the other countries of east-central Europe (Salt, 1996; Golinowska, Marek, 1994a; 1994b; de Weydenthal, 1994; Szonert, 1994a; 1994b). The democratic political changes led to the opening of Polish borders and the lifting of restrictions on entry and exit, both for Polish citizens and for foreigners. This created a qualitatively new migration situation in Poland: by comparison with the 1980s the number of people arriving in, and departing from, Poland increased several times over; there arose the problem of refugees — until then unknown in Poland, asylum-seekers and foreigners attempting to cross the state frontiers illegally in order to reach their ‘promised land’ in western Europe; the Polish labour market opened up to foreigners; and foreigners remaining in the country have rapidly become a permanent element of the social scene in many Polish cities. The number of foreigners arriving in Poland is rising continually through economic and trade links with other countries, academic and cultural exchanges and tourism. Finally the political changes taking place in the countries of the former USSR created an interest in the problems of Poles living in those states and the possibilities of their return (repatriation) to Poland. Generally speaking, Poland, which had been, until the late 1980s, a typical emigration country, became in the 1990s a country of both emigration and immigration.


Public Prosecutor Refugee Status Polish Authority Polish Citizen Border Guard 
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Copyright information

© School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Slawomir Lodzinski

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