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Centre of Migration Research

Marek Szonert, Sławomir Łodziński. 2016.

„Niepolityczna polityka”? Kształtowanie się polityki migracyjnej w Polsce w latach 1989 – 2016 (kwiecień)


CMR Working Paper, Nr 90(148)


This working paper attempts to analyze the leading institutional features and mechanisms of rising and development of the Polish migration policy in the years 1989-2016 (April). We refer to the concept of "policy paradigm" created by Peter A. Hall (1993) who has analyzed the public policies in terms of a reflective adjustment of its objectives and administrative tools in accordance with previous experience and the incoming of new information. Referring to this concept we want to show that in Poland in the early 90s of XX century we experienced the radical change of the highly “rationing” paradigm of migration policy and the creation of the new one (and more than 15 years of its functioning). We emphasize three of its features. First, that not emigration from Poland as the dominant migration phenomenon in this period but immigration (and different categories of foreigners) has been the main driver of shaping migration policy. Second point highlights the importance of the ministry of internal affairs as the leading actor of this policy. It was connected with the preference for the development of procedures and institutional mechanisms (as the main tools of co-operation within the administration) related to the control of migration processes, at the expense of a broader discussion about the goals of migration policy. Third point concerns the "practical" understanding of migration policy and its focusing on solving the migration issues in terms of legal procedures and institutional tools. From the one hand this approach hampered the functioning of the migration policy in Poland and solving new challenges of migration, but on the other hand it facilitated the acquisition of international and European (EU) legal solutions. At the end of the article we state the question whether the responses of the Polish authorities to the "migration crisis" in Europe from mid-2015 has been the continuation of the existing paradigm or the indicators of its change or even the radical break are being appears.


migration – Poland – migration policy – paradigms of public policies – migration crisis