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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 20, Issue 9/10, 2010

Between (Globalistic) Here-and-Now Culture and Universalism

Małgorzata Nalewajko
Pages 29-38

The Polish Immigrant Community in Spain in the Context of Political Changes and Modernization

Describing the formation of the Polish community in Spain in the 1990s, the article focuses on the political changes in both countries: processes of democratization (and, in the case of Poland, the resulting economic transformation) and then the EU enlargement, which contributed to this new influx. Polish expatriates, though not very numerous in comparison with other immigrant communities in contemporary Spain, became quite visible, especially in some towns of the Region of Madrid. In general, they enjoy a good reputation in the host country, but initially they used to work in the secondary labor sector, often illegally. The situation changed after Poland’s accession to the European Union and the resulting opening of the Spanish labor market for Polish citizens at the beginning of the new century. New Polish immigrants to Spain are young, qualified, innovative, and their purpose is not only to earn a living, but first and foremost to continue their studies and undergo professional training. Their mobility is increased owing to modern transportation facilities and communication systems. Individualists for the most part, they do not maintain intensive contacts with the earlier-established Polish community and its social networks and institutions.

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