Labour migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the Nordic countries: Patterns of migration, working conditions and recruitment practices


The general aim of this project is to generate new knowledge about labour migration from Central and Eastern Europe to the Nordic countries, the comparison of factors that contribute in shaping the working conditions and working environment of labour migrants in the different countries, including the extent and nature of social dumping, and in particular the role of recruitment agencies in the introduction of labour migrants to the Nordic labour market. By analyzing how different systems of labour market regulation, recruitment practices and collective bargaining in various industries in different countries contribute in shaping the labour market situation of labour migrants, the project aims to develop new knowledge which can be used to promote labour market equality and the sustainability of the Nordic model of work and welfare in a context of increasing globalization.

The project constitutes of three subproject. The purpose of the first one titled “Changing pattern of labour migration to the Nordic countries” is to provide a descriptive and comparative analysis of the directions, size and composition of migration flows to and from the Nordic countries, with particular focus on labour migration from new EU members in Central and Eastern Europe, but in a larger context of migration flows.

The aim of the second subproject titled “Working conditions and working environment of Polish labour migrants in Oslo, Copenhagen and Reykjavik” is the description and explanation of differences in (subjective and objective measures of) working conditions and working environment among Polish workers across industries and countries, and how these are related to the economic, macro-institutional and policy context.

CMR is involved in the realization of third subproject titled “The role of temporary work agencies as recruitment agents and employers”, which aims to describe and explain the relationship between the developments of the temporary staffing industry and labour migration to the Nordic countries, and its consequences for labour markets and migrant workers. Within this subproject we will especially focus on issues such as: the role of temporary work agencies as recruiters of migrant workers and/or as employers of migrant workers and the significance of national regulatory frameworks.


2011 - 2012

Source of funding

Nordic Council of Ministers


(FAFO Coordinator) – Norway

CIRRA – Iceland

FAOS – Denmark

SOFI – Sweden