Since EU enlargement in 2004, Ireland has emerged as a major destination for Polish migrants. What are the particular features of this East–West migration? Based on repeat interviews with Polish migrants as part of a Qualitative Panel Study, we show that this migration is characterised by new mobility patterns. As ‘free movers’, Polish migrants are more mobile across national borders and within national labour markets. This affords them new opportunities beyond the employment experience. The younger and more educated of these migrants, especially, are part of a new generation of mobile Europeans for whom the move abroad is not only work-related but also involves lifestyle choices as part of a broader aspiration for self-development. The new mobility strategies of migrants become visible even in an economic downturn wherein Ireland has been hit by an unprecedented recession.
Source: Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Volume 39, Issue 1, 2013, Published online: 3 Oct 2012