The EU enlargements of 2004 and 2007 that effectively increased migration from the EU’s new member states to its old ones, or the EU-15, has prompted debate in several countries regarding policies aimed at countering worker migration. In response, we here investigate the controversy by focusing on Poles and Romanians as the figures of such migration, which in old member states has spurred xenophobic attitudes. Specifically, we examine how many Poles and Romanians actually migrated, to which countries, and the reasons behind their migration, as well as scrutinise the development of xenophobic attitudes toward Polish and Romanian immigrants and how such intolerance impacts national policies in old member states? In conclusion, we argue that the debate concerning migration within the EU not only exaggerates actual migration, but also promotes myths meant to protect national interests, thereby suggesting that policies aimed at countering worker migration require evidence-based research.
Sobis, I., Junjan, V., & de Vries, M. (2016). Polish plumbers and Romanian strawberry pickers: how the populist framing of EU migration impacts national policies. Migration and development, 5(3), 431-454. https://doi.org/10.1080/21632324.2015.1049021