Diaspora policy in the context of post-accession migration. Comparative analysis of Poland, Lithuania and Hungary


Poland, Lithuania and Hungary as countries with a common history, undergoing similar political and socio-economic processes, and located in the shared geo-political space, also experienced comparable emigration processes. In these countries, three main diaspora groups could be distinguished: 1) national minorities in neighboring countries (the result of border changes in the first half of the 20th century); 2) “traditional” diaspora (the effect of emigration of the 19th and 20th centuries to Western Europe and the Americas); and 3) the “post-accession” diaspora (the result of the outflow of citizens after the accession of countries to the EU in 2004).

Especially the recent outflows turned out to be a massive and dynamic process, in particular in the case of Poland and Lithuania. In Hungary, the largest outflow to other EU countries took place during the economic crisis (after 2007) and concerned mainly young and educated persons.

Emigration processes and a large spread all over the world diaspora had an impact on the development of state policy towards the diaspora in all the countries listed.
The main goal of the project is to analyze the development, patterns, similarities and differences of diaspora policy in three selected countries in the period after the political transformation (1989/1991) to the present. The specific research questions are as follow:

1) What is the official discourse (narrative) about the diaspora, legal regulations, institutional structure responsible for designing and implementing state policy as well as programs and strategies targeting diaspora and how they changed over time?

2) What was the reaction of the examined countries to the citizens’ outflow after accession to the EU and legal and political activities directed at the “post-accession” diaspora?;

3) What is the state policy addressed to national minorities (co-ethnics) living in neighboring countries and does it change in time of post-accession emigration and growing diaspora diversity?;

4) To what extent diasporas have influenced the political system in the country of origin and / or are treated as the subject/object of foreign policy and interstate relations (between the country of origin and the countries of settlement)?

The project proposes an original theoretical and analytical approach for studying diaspora policy based on three dimensions: narrative, legal-institutional, and practical. It will be developed and empirically tested during the comparative studies planned in the project. The study includes, among others, a critical review of secondary sources (literature and documents), analysis of political discourse (programs, statements of policy makers in terms of the presence of issues related to emigration and diaspora) and qualitative research (in-depth interviews with representatives of administration, policy makers, experts and leaders of the Polish, Lithuanian and Hungarian diaspora).


2019 - 2021

Source of funding

National Science Center "OPUS 16" (No. 2018/31/B/HS5/00913)