Policies and programmes targeting return migrants

Poland had policies targeting return migrants as early as the 1920s. Nevertheless, the issue entered into the public debate only in the late 1990s, and it was not before 2006 - following the massive scale of post-enlargement wave of emigration and the emergence of shortages in the Polish labour market - that discussion regarding return migration and the reintegration of returnees into the Polish labour market gained momentum. Several of the more important initiatives taken as a result to encourage the return of emigrants and Polish citizens staying temporarily abroad are discussed below. Table 5.6 summarises some of them.

Table 5.6. Programmes/initiatives targeting potential Polish return migrants

Name of the programme/ initiative

Institutions responsible

Main target groups

Time frame

Level of implementation

“Masz PLan na powrot?” [Hava you got a PLan to return?]

Chancellory of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Centre of Human Resources Development

All migrants staying abroad, persons considering return to Poland and return migrants

Since September 2008 (still active)




Hays Polska, Polish-British Chamber of Commerce

Polish migrants abroad, particularly highly skilled migrants

October 2007-11


“Zostan w Polsce - swoim szefem” [Become your own boss - stay in Poland]

Urzgd Marszatkowski, Wyzsza Szkota Finansow i Prawa

Returnees in region of Mazovia (especially migrants aged 45 and over, women, and people who were forced to return due to loss of job abroad)

Since September 2010 (still active)


12 miast - wracac, ale dokgd? [The 12 cities - to go back, but where to?]

Poland Street Association (Polish NGO based in London), municipalities of 12 biggest Polish cities: Biatystok, Bydgoszcz, Gdansk, Katowice, Krakow, Lublin, Lodz, Poznan, Rzeszow, Szczecin, Warszawa i Wroclaw

Polish migrants in the United Kingdom

January-August 2009 (stopped due to financial problems and economic downturn)


Powroty [Returns]

Fundacja Barka

Polish migrants in London (particularly if homeless)

Since January 2007 (still active)


Opolskie - tutaj zostaj§ [‘Opolskie - here I stay']

Self-Government of Opole region, Regional Labour Office in Opole

Persons staying abroad, graduates, people looking for a job in the region



Wrocic i со dalej? [To return and what next?]

Fundacja Fundusz Lokalny Ziemi Bitgorajskiej, Powiatowy Urzgd Pracy, Bitgorajska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego

Young (below 35) Polish migrants and their families

January 2007-June 2009


Source: Fialkowska, K. and M. Szczepanski (2012), “Labour Mobility Within the EU - Impacts of Return Migration. Poland Case Study”, Eurofound - PPMI, unpublished manuscript.

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