by FILIP MAZURCZAK
Across the West, an electoral backlash against large-scale immigration has contributed to the successes of populist movements and politicians: Brexit in Britain, Donald Trump in the United States, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, and Matteo Salvini in Italy. The government of Poland, which since 2015 has been led by the conservative Law and Justice Party, is often viewed as part of this transatlantic anti-immigrant trend. But this perception is simplistic. Poland’s government, along with much of Polish society, is in fact pro-immigration. What is true is that Poland eschews the policies of Western European multiculturalism—by encouraging immigration selectively, from countries with similar cultural values.
In 2016, according to Eurostat, Poland issued 586,000 first residence permits to nationals of non–European Union countries. Poland issued more such permits that year than did any other EU member-state except Britain—and more than Germany (505,000), which has more than double Poland’s population.
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