On October 13th, a parliamentary election will take place in Poland. What can we expect in terms of migration and integration politics?
NIEM's experts from IPA joined MamPrawoWiedziec.pl (MyRighsToKnow) initiative, which provides online interactive tool to check candidates views on diverse issues, based on their replies in the online questionnaire. Due to the initiative voters can get acquainted and compare the views and goals of future parliamentarians on key state policies. NIEM’s experts consulted questions concerning migration and integration,
Ewa Kownacka, NIEM’s lead researcher, explains why well-managed and evidence-based integration policy should be one of the most important areas of politicians’ activities: “Integration policy is the way the state treats people who live in Poland but do not benefit from the Polish citizenship. Integration policy answers questions such as whether a doctor from Egypt can treat us, whether a child from Canada can go to public school in Poland. It decides on such important issues of everyday life as the conditions of access to health care, education, the labour market or the right to family reunification.
It depends mostly depends on the decisions made by politicians how easy or difficult is it for foreigners to learn the Polish language and traditions, understand the functioning of law and public institutions, as well as gain a sense of responsibility for their new environment (e.g. through active participation in the life of local communities, participation in decision-making processes such as civic budgets, local elections, consultative bodies at local and central level).
The integration policy has also an impact on how quickly we will be able to communicate with a neighbour from Vietnam and whether a journalist from the Philippines, mother of two children, can take decisions on the organization of the local playground.
To ensure three pillars of integration: real access to public services, opportunities to acquire language, cultural and civic competences, and joint responsibility (along with inclusion in decision making) is beneficial not only for foreigners but for the whole society.
It promotes social cohesion, stimulates economic development, safeguards public health and wellbeing of the society, therefore increases the safety and quality of life for all of us.”