Economic migration is standard fare in the expanded European Union, but the recent financial crisis has had some unforeseen effects on migration patterns. One of these involves a new wave of German workers travelling to western Poland for work.
Poland was the only EU nation to emerge out of the economic downturn relatively unscathed and with positive growth in 2009. One region that was not so fortunate was the eastern parts of Germany, where the majority of the 2,500 German workers registered in north-western Poland come from. However, officials believe that the actual number of workers is much higher due to those working without reporting their earnings.
According to a report by the Telegraph, the most popular occupations are in call centres and construction. Those workers unable to find employment in eastern Germany travel across the border to work for less pay than they would back home. However, unemployment figures of 20 percent have left many desperate for any kind of opportunity.
Commenting on the situation, Patrycjusz Ceran, a cross-border co-operation representative in the western city of Szczecin, told the Telegraph: “We’re showing that Poland is not just a market where Germans can come and buy cheap cigarettes. We want to be a magnet for business and co-operate with the Germans as equals.”