We've heard a lot about declining populations and a graying Europe. But now there's an interesting new development in Poland as the country is experiencing something of a baby boom. Statistics show the generation born in the early 80's is increasingly starting to have families. So why are Poles suddenly discovering parenting?
The newly-elected government of Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed this week that it was planning to restrict immigrant's right to bring their family to live with them in France. Human right activists and the centre left opposition are in uproar. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux reports from Paris.
More and more expatriates or expats are getting involved in politics in Spain, for instance in the country’s local elections. Namely, from the country’s large expat community. For more than a decade, European Union citizens have had the right to vote and stand as candidates in local elections, in any EU country if they live there as residents. Until now these expats have been keeping relatively quiet, but that’s no longer the case. In Spain, for the first time, independent political parties with more non-Spanish than Spanish candidates are taking part in local elections.
It may be fairly well-known that the Swedish language thrives in neighbouring country, Finland, where more than 5 per cent of the population speaks it as their mother tongue. But while they are really only a "linguistic" minority, efforts are being stepped up to recognise people with a Swedish background in another nearby nation....Estonia. It too has a long common history with Sweden, and now a Cultural Council's been set up there to make full use of the "Estonian-Swedes" cultural autonomy rights. Tom McAlinden has more...
There's really no denying it - for many Paris, is "the" global capital of romance, where literature and art lead us to believe at least - that Latin lovers stroll along the banks of the romantic river Seine…… But hold on. Did you know that Paris is also home to hundreds of thousands of singles! And that according to statistics there could be as many as 15 million single people in France, That’s twice as many than thirty years ago! RFI's Nick Champeaux wanted to find out why , despite the romantic backdrop, so many people hadn't found their soul-mates...
As work, study and weekend breaks take Europeans to the four corners of the continent, international romance is blooming. More than 100,000 Poles alone have moved to Ireland in search of jobs since it flung its doors wide-open to immigration from the new EU member states in Eastern Europe. Most of the Poles are young and...single. For its part, Ireland has more young people per capita than any other European country. So even if many Poles don't have romance on their mind when they leave for Dublin, Limerick or Galway, it often ends up that way. Polish Radio's Bogdan Zaryn caught up with Paul and Dominika, one of the increasing number of Polish-Irish couples.
Workers from Poland who have move to Western Europe for work often get bad press, particularly in the British Tabloid media. For a change we head to Sweden where apparently Poles have less difficulty integrating. Last year, Poles were among the largest groups of immigrants in Malmö, Sweden's third largest and most ethnically diverse city, located at the very south of the county. The presence of polls in Malmö is not new, but Polish immigration has picked up significantly, since Sweden opened its doors to workers from the countries which joined the EU in 2004.
Imagine showing up at a government office to apply for unemployment or to register the birth of a child - you're asked for your papers, and the clerk destroys them in front of you because you are not a citizen. Something you didn't realize until that very moment. That's what happened to thousands of Slovenian residents after Slovenia gained independence in 1991. 18,000 people -- or roughly one percent of the population -- were purged from the official residence records. Thus the name they call themselves: The Erased. This week a group of the Erased traveled from Slovenia to Italy, France and Belgium to draw attention to their tragic fate.
Do Europeans need or want to get any closer together? As romania and Bulgaria prepare to join the EU in 2 months time we look at how they're being welcomed, or not. As the banlieues burn we look at inner city deprivation and at what's being done to stop the rot. Europe's getting bigger all the time and our leaders in Brussels are keen for it to keep expanding. And there are plenty of states keen to join. Turkey and several Balkan states are currently front of the queue to start negotiations. What some predict will happen then is a mass-migration as east europeans seek better wages as they go west. So what do europeans think of the expansion and the prospect of the continent experiencing a massive labour force on the move? Network Europe's reporters have been out on the streets of the capitals to find out.
The United Kingdom recently announced it would not be extending its "open door" policy to workers from Romania and Bulgaria, when they join the European Union in just under two months' time. That move comes in reaction to the phenomenal influx of workers following the last EU enlargement in 2004, with actual numbers far, far exceeding official estimates. And the biggest wave of immigration in British history is really making its mark on the country.
Since Spain opened its labour market to workers from the new EU member states Poles have been searching for jobs there. But Spaniards are beginning to fear the influx of migrant workers more and more, despite the fact unemployment between July and September hit its lowest point in 27 years. Poles used to take up just seasonal jobs, but now, many of them have decided to stay for good. Netwrok Europe has been meeting some migrant workers on their tea breaks.
Ireland has seen a large influx of Polish immigrants over the last couple of years, as one of three countries to open its doors immediately to workers from the new EU in 2004. In fact the Polish community is the fastest growing immigrant group in Ireland. As a result, not just Irish companies but the mainstream media are focusing ever more attention on young, dynamic Poles, who they regard as an attractive target group. Dailies like the Evening Herald and The Irish Times print several pages in Polish at least once a week, while some TV channels are now broadcasting in the language.
Spanish authorities are demanding help from the European Union, saying they’re overwhelmed with the 20,000 African migrants who’ve reached the shores of the Spanish-owned Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco this year. Those who’ve survived the perilous trip in crowded, open-top fishing boats are seeking employment in Europe in a bid to flee poverty in countries such as Senegal, Mali, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. But on another European island, a very different kind of African migration has been established for about ten years. For about seven months out of the year, Senegalese beach vendors comb the beaches of Sardinia, selling clothing and accessories to sunbathing tourists, and sending their earnings back home.
Well, having to sleep outside could also become a problem in Southern Europe. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of North Africans living all over Europe head back south to spend their month-long European vacations in their native countries. Many go by car, which creates an enormous logistical problem when they arrive on the Straits of Gibraltar.
Now, neighbours is what the Finns and the Estonians has been for centuries - but it has only been since the fall of the iron curtain that the two countries have begun to re acquaint themselves. But for Estonia, as the borders come down and people, goods and services flow freely back and forth - the problem of brain drain has leapt onto the political agenda.
Citizens from new EU member states are able to enter the UK through the front door, as the country has a free labour market for EU citizens. According to the Home Office around 250 000 Poles are employed in the UK. Up to two million Poles may have settled in EU countries since Poland joined the Union in 2004. But emigration on this scale may in the long term have dramatic consequences for Poland, which has an ageing population. More from Radio Polonia.
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