Poles-the biggest national minority in Ireland after the enlargment in 2004. Why some people perceive it as a danger when others as a chance?
Social and Political Sciences European University Institute San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy
Immigration is often characterized as "good" or "bad" despite the obvious fact that it brings both benefits and costs. However, these effects are often interrelated and potentially conflicting.
The enlargement of the EU in 2004 caused a huge migration movement from the "new" EU countries to the "old" EU countries in a very short time span. In terms of the amount of immigrants, Poland was the biggest "sender" among ten new member states that joined the EU at that time.
One of the destination countries has been Ireland.
The data of the Department of Social and Family Affairs in Ireland states that from the beginning of May 2004 till April 2008, 278,842 Poles applied for the Personal Public Service Number in this country. This constitutes about 7 percent of the whole Irish population, which makes Polish immigrants the biggest and the most visible migration group in Ireland. The Polish community in Ireland created after 2004 is undoubtedly larger and more vibrant than any other migration community
In this paper I will analyze the attitudes towards the recent Polish migration to Ireland from three different perspectives: Irish, Polish immigrants in Ireland and the reactions and opinions of Poles in Poland.
Additionally I would like to compare the official positions of the Polish and Irish governments on the case to the public opinion of the Irish society, the Polish immigrants in Ireland and Poles in the homeland.
Questions which will help me to develop this part of the paper are:
Are the Polish and Irish public opinions and political views on the case of the recent Polish migration to Ireland different from each other and why? How do they influence each other and how?
The paper will be based on interviews with Poles in Poland, Poles in Ireland, Irish in Ireland and the official stands on the case of the Polish and Irish governments. The fact that I am Polish will make the research easier and
Possibly the fact that I am Polish will be very helpful in the creation of trust and frankness among interviewees and will help in my research.