9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS04 Europe and Immigration

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Civic and Political Participation Building I, 1E9

Ethnic organizations as representation of intra-European immigrants´ interests - the case of Polish immigrant NGO's in Germany

The problem of intra-European migrations is usually analysed in the context of workforce flows and differentiated politics of member states towards free labour movement from "new" European countries. Studies on the intra-European migration usually underestimate the problem of political representation of immigrants´ interests, and their modes of influence on the activities of public authorities of the host society. It is implicitly assumed that immigrants who have European citizenship have in fact more political power than other immigrants. Yet it is worth noticing that their influence on public authorities is highly limited.
The proposed paper will aim to investigate the modes of representation of intra-European immigrants' interests by immigrant organisations. With the use the example of Polish immigrant and ethnic organisations in Germany it will describe this aspect of the intra-European migration. More detailed research questions explored in the proposed paper are:
1. What are the main issues that are potential spheres of activity for Polish immigrant organisations in Germany? 2. What is the profile (organisational density, number of members, resources, cooperation with other organisations at different levels, etc.) of Polish immigrant organisations in Germany?
3. What strategies and instruments do Polish immigrant organisations in Germany adopt to represent immigrants´ interests?
4. What are the most efficient modes of action and tactics of Polish immigrant organisations in Germany in representing the interests of immigrants?
5. How do Polish immigrant organisations perceive their role in representing immigrants´ interests?

The paper will present results of on-going study of Polish ethnic and immigrant organisations in Germany: typologies of modes of action, ways of adaptation and channels of influence applied by Polish immigrant ethnic organisations in the context of a united Europe. Research methods employed for the study are: analysis of Polish immigrant organisations websites, in-depth interviews with leaders of most important Polish immigrant organisations as well as organisational postal survey.