Chapter

The Effects of Political and Economic Transition on International Migration in Central and Eastern Europe

Marek OkÓlski

in International Migration

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199269006
Published online August 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601309 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199269009.003.0003

Series: International Studies in Demography

 The Effects of Political and Economic Transition on International Migration in Central and Eastern Europe

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Until the late 1980s, Central and Eastern Europe was a region relatively isolated from the other parts of the world, and foreign travel was administratively restricted. The freedom of movement reinstated in the region around 1990 led to massive migration. However, instead of acceleration of the highly selective outflow of ethnic minorities, political opponents and elites, which predominated past movements or westbound exodus feared at the time the transition to democracy began, quite new and partly unexpected phenomena occurred. Those phenomena included: an unprecedented intensification of international flows within Central and Eastern Europe, an influx of people from outside the region, and illegal transit migration. In the 1990s, migration in the region reflected, and will continue to do so, the interplay of three different kinds of imbalances: demographic, economic, and political whose clear outcome is the persistence of a latent potential for emigration.

Keywords: Central and East European migration; illegal transit migration; immigration; outflow of ethnic minorities; population movements; potential for emigration; transition to democracy

Chapter.  12283 words. 

Subjects: Economic Systems

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