Western Pomerania is a region of Europe located on small area on the coast of the Baltic Sea and its range includes Polish and German border regions.
The specific nature of the labor market and demographic situation in the German part of the region have created specific conditions for the formation of the Polish-German relations in the area. Although the reunification of Germany took more than 20 years the differences in the level of living of the inhabitants of western and eastern provinces are still very visible. This state of affairs was the cause of the migration of a significant part of the population of Eastern Germany, still poorer, to western part of the country to give people better prospects of finding a job and achieving a better quality of life. These movements resulted in the depopulation of the eastern part of the country. The problem is so serious that the shrinking cities governments have decided to take action aimed at population vacancy.
Depending on what opportunities various regions give, the authorities have created packages to encourage Polish citizens to move into Germany. An example of such incentives may offer exemption from the payment of rent for the first three months, free public transport in the first months after residing in a new place, and a promise of reimbursement of expenses incurred for electricity after a year and all this only if you sign a lease for 18 months.
What such actions may have an impact on labor markets both in Germany and Polish?
Although the eastern areas of Germany is still struggling with unemployment higher than in the western part of the country, there is still not enough specialists in many industries. Skilled workers, for which preferential renting an apartment can be a great encouragement in the face of prohibitively high housing prices on the Polish side of the border. Another argument in favor of moving to Germany is fact that their homeland is situated really close. This type of migration is significantly different from that, when people move to areas thousands kilometers away from their hometown. If the migration involves the transfer of a few kilometers from the previous place of residence, it eliminates many of the problems and dilemmas which people planning to emigrate usually have.
Of course we need to consider that this offer is designed more for people in employment in Poland, or people with high qualifications that they can count on finding a job on the west side of the border. And this all not without affecting the rest of the labor market.
The next stage of the action taken by the East German Länder governments, was to encourage companies to move their business to the German side. Reduced comparing to the Polish bureaucracy, and lower taxes would encourage enterprising Poles to build their businesses in Germany. It was not only about the creation of new jobs for the residents of the eastern states. It was about to stimulate native citizens to change the attitude towards life to a more creative and entrepreneurial.
What was the Polish reaction for this kind of offers?
Contrary to appearances, and despite the attractiveness of the offer, German towns did not became populated in Polish citizens. Clearly there is a large group of people who decided to the move, but they are not the values that can be expected. There are several reasons why the authorities of towns on the Polish side did not have to worry about a sudden exodus. The first is the fact that, despite favorable conditions, as experts estimate, the person who decides to move to the German side would have to reach around € 1,000, which is not common in Poland. For the professionals who can find employment in Germany, conditions what authorities offer them may not be attractive enough. Although wages of skilled people in Germany are high, however, in Poland there is no specialist in similar industries so that they can expect to earn a lot also in Poland.
In the face of that facts, the German authorities came up with another idea to try to cope with the demographic challenges faced by today Germany. They came to the conclusion that if they need employees skilled in the art that they have to train them. Because the young immigrants are more likely to permanently settle in the country, the Germans decided to encourage young Poles to learn in their own country, in occupations where there is a shortage of labor. As the population of people who are studying is very high in Poland, and young people with a desire decide to take science which gives them to specialize in a particular area, the idea of German rulers seem to hit. Young people are encouraged by the prospect of scholarships and easily find a job after graduation. That makes they rather, than older generations who do not speak foreign languages, decide to accept the proposal of the German states.
You can talk about the positive and negative sides of a situation that takes place on the Polish-German border, its impact on the German labor market Polish demographic situations, in a society which, like German is getting old. However, we should monitor the situation that is taking place in Pomerania and wait few years for the implications of this actions.