Immigration in Times of Emigration

The Baltic countries and Poland share a long tradition of labour emigration. Today, demographic challenges have created a need for implementing policies to stimulate labour inflows. In this transition it is essential for the region to introduce policies that facilitate integration: policies that promote equal opportunities, rights and obligations and thereby enhance the convergence of societal outcomes between natives and immigrants.

In the Baltic Sea region, migration and mobility constitute still largely unused resources for development and strengthened competitiveness. In order to tap into this resource, it is key to manage the challenges associated with migration and mobility, such as ensuring social integration and good working conditions for migrants and managing the risk of increased ethnic tensions and xenophobia. High unemployment rates and social instability in many European Union member states today risk leading to protectionism and a reluctance to openness. Increased support for more restrictions on immigration Europe-wide is but one sign of such a trend. This is the contrary of what Europe needs.

This report is the result of a one year project funded by the Swedish Institute and carried out by the Stockholm-based think tank Global Utmaning (Global Challenge) in cooperation with partner organisations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.