Szpak A. (2019): How to deal with migrants and the State’s backlash – Polish cities’ experience.


Citation: Szpak A. (2019): How to deal with migrants and the State’s backlash – Polish cities’ experience, European Planning Studies,


Abstract/Description: Over the last decades, Poland has witnessed a relatively dynamic increase in the number of immigrants. At the same time, current Polish central authorities, politicians of the ruling party and the majority of the population perceive migrants mostly as a threat and a challenge. Municipal authorities lack complex support from central authorities. However, the situation is slowly changing. Some Polish cities are adopting migration policies or including migration issues in the local development strategies. Considering this, the article aims to examine migrants’ integration policies in selected Polish cites considered leaders in this field: Lublin, Gdańsk, Kraków and Wrocław. The main research question is: how do Polish cities deal with the backlash from the national government and absence of clear legal regulations on their role and competences in the area of migrant integration? The research method is that of a legal-institutional analysis and case study. The former is used to interpret the legal acts and other documents. Its application is justified by the fact that this paper examines strategic documents adopted at the level of urban governments regarding the integration of migrants. Case study methods made it possible to examine the migrants’ integration policy in four Polish cities.


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This is NOT a C-MISE publication: this website hosts links to external publications and resources selected by the C-MISE team on the basis of their relevance for city authorities interested in service provision to migrants with irregular status, and are only presented here as suggested readings. External publications are the product of the authors there mentioned, and are not in any way the product of the C-MISE initiative, nor are they related or endorsed by the C-MISE initiative.