Debating Poland’s migration and asylum policy

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Debating Poland’s migration and asylum policy

AWEPA Newsletter

Warsaw, Poland – On 11 September 2014, a meeting on the migration and asylum policy in Poland was held at the Sejm of Poland as a response to the call for AWEPA’s Sections to take actions on the occasion of AWEPA’s 30th anniversary and selected theme.

The meeting was organised and supported by the Sejm’s Committee on Internal Affairs and Polish AWEPA Section in cooperation with the Office for Foreigners, represented by the Director Mr. Rafał Rogala. The conference was attended by representatives of the Sejm, both members of the Committee and the Section who had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on migration flows from Africa to Poland and raise awareness on the situation of the African migrants in Poland.

It is worth mentioning that migration as such was for the first time approached by Poland in 1990 as a result of the arrival of a group of asylum-seekers from Africa. At that time, Poland perceived the influx of asylum-seekers as a new phenomenon, but one that would last. This is why steps were taken to develop a special legal and organizational system. The system proved to perform well during subsequent migration waves that passed through Poland.

During the debate, members of AWEPA asked questions on many problems which afflict African migrants in Poland. They discussed the cases of deportations, intolerance, the lack of big African diaspora in Poland, as well as problems with assimilation.

According to the conclusions of the meeting, migration from Africa to Poland is fractional and an eventual increase of migrants from this part of the world does not seem to be probable. More urgent situation could result from changes in the East, creating massive migration influxes. Nevertheless, Poland’s migration policy seems to be a tool flexible enough so as to include eventual migration flows from Africa by e.g. introducing facilitation mechanisms or simplifying procedures for legalization of stay in Poland.

Prof. Tadeusz Iwiński, Head of AWEPA’s Polish Section offered the Section’s support and assistance to the Office for Foreigners and suggested further consultations on this important issue.

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