Intra-EU Migration


Migration from Poland to the UK

Push factors:

  • High unemployment - around 19% in 2004. People fo working-age left Poland to find work in the UK - they were economic migrants.
  • Low average wages - people of working-age left Poland to find higher wages.
  • Low availability of housing - people left Poland because there wasn't enough houses for them to move into. 

Pull factors:

  • Ease of migration - only the UK, Ireland and Sweden decided to allow unlimited migration from the new membership countries in 2004.
  • Good exchange rate - a few pounds earnt in the UK were worth lots of money, so migrants could send back a few pounds back to Poland and it would make a bid difference.
  • Plenty of jobs and better paid jobs - shortage of labour for certain occupations in the UK. 
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Consequences for Poland and the UK

Demographic: Poland's population has shrunk and birth rate has decreased. The population of the UK has increased.

Economic: UK economy loses out because money is sent back as remittances. Polish economy affected - shortage of labourers so less can be done, economy doesn't grow as much.

Social: Migration of working-age people has helped the UK's problem of an ageing population. 

Cultural: Shops selling Polish products have opened where Polish people live. Number of people attending Catholic Church has increased.

Political: Immigration policy of the UK has been changed because of the influx of Polish migrants. 

Environmental: Increased immigration from Poland has meant more air traffic between Poland and the UK. Increased air traffic means more GHGs are emitted making global warming worse.

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Migration to the UK may not be permanent

In 2008 lots of Polish migrants moved back to Poland.

  • Less work avaliable in the UK - UK economy shrinking.
  • More work is available in Poland - economy is growing.
  • Less favourable exchange rate.
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Migration from the UK to Spain

Many people migrate to Spain from the UK when they retire. 

Push factors:

  • The cost of living is rising in the UK
  • The UK has a cool, wet and changeable climate.

Pull factors:

  • Cost of living is smaller in Spain.
  • Spain has a hot, dry and less changeable climate.

Spain and the UK have beome more interlinked:

  • The increase in budget air travel from companies like EasyJet has meant that people can afford to visit family and friends they've left in the UK several times a year.
  • Improved communications such as cheap telephone calls and use of the internet means people can keep in close contact even when they're living far away.
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Consequences for the UK and Spain

Demographic: The population structure of the UK and Spain is altered. Spain will have an increased ageing population, the UK will have a decreasing ageing population.

Environmental: Many UK migrants don't live in Spain all year - they regularly return to the UK - increasing air traffic, causing more pollution.

Social: The Spanish health care system is under pressure due to the ageing population. The UK born Spanish residents don't have the same rights to the health care system as UK residents do.

Cultural: UK migratns set up commuities with British-run shops and resturants. Some people don't interact with the local community. This leads to tensions between the UK migrants and local people.

Economic: Jobs are created in Spain to provide for the needs of the UK migrants. UK migrants spend their earnings in Spain, helping their economy to grow, not the UK economy.

Political: Local elections in Spain are affected by UK migrants - they have the right to vote and many of them are standing as candidates in the elections. Also, some Spanish people think that the health care that the UK migrants recieve should be paid for by the NHS.

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