Научная статья на тему 'International cross-border migration in the South-East Baltic: factors, structure, consequences'

International cross-border migration in the South-East Baltic: factors, structure, consequences Текст научной статьи по специальности «Экономика и экономические науки»

Baltic Region
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Аннотация научной статьи по экономике и экономическим наукам, автор научной работы — Yemelyanova Larisa

This article presents the results of an integrated research encompassing both the study of migration processes in the South-East Baltic (volume, structure, directions) and the analysis of factors affecting migration mobility of the population as well as the assessment of migration influence on the socioeconomic development of three border territories

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Текст научной работы на тему «International cross-border migration in the South-East Baltic: factors, structure, consequences»

Larisa Yemelyanova



This article presents the results of an integrated research encompassing both the study of migration processes in the South-East Baltic (volume, structure, directions) and the analysis of factors affecting migration mobility of the population as well as the assessment of migration influence on the socioeconomic development of three border territories

Key words: migration, region, migration policy, emigration, immigration, labour market, globalisation.

In this study, South-East Baltic is considered as a cross-border region that brings together Pomeranian Voivodeship of Poland, the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation, and Klaipeda County of Lithuania. These administrative-territorial units of the three countries are situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea and are elements of the Baltic macroregion — an arena of active integration processes. The established structure and scope of migration streams in the region are influenced by several sets of factors. The economic factors include the development of conditions for the integration (especially, in the pre-crisis period) of local and regional economies, which increased labour demand creating an additional incentive to formulate migration policies aimed at the maintenance and development of human development. The demographic factors are the decrease in population size due to the shrinking birth rate against the background of stable high mortality rate (especially in Lithuania and the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation). Another factor is institutional mechanisms of the EU migration policy aimed at the establishment of a common European labour market and free movement of labour force within the EU.

Upon the accession to the EU, the new states faced the serious problem of migration outflow to the open labour markets of European countries. The net international migration rate in Lithuania and Poland is negative; the insufficient labour potential is substituted by the inflow of temporary migrant workers mainly from other eastern European states.

The characteristics of migration streams

The elimination of barriers to the movement of Lithuanian and Polish citizens within the European Union after 2004 caused an unprecedented increase in migration streams and the complication of their structure. As to Lithuania, it is, first of all, the large scale of emigration in comparison to the immigration trend. According to Lithuanian statistics, the officially registered net emigration, after a small reduction in 2006—2007, increased to al-

most 22,000 in 2009. The non-registered migration1 also doubled in 2009 in comparison to the previous year (table 1). "Migration continues, we did not expect that there could be a greater wave, but there is one", said the director of International migration agency in Vilnius Dr Audra Sipaviciene. "Young people, highly qualified specialists, and experts in in-demand professions are leaving" [2]. The increase in in-migration in 2006—2008, which brought to the fore the increase in return migration, was replaced by a steep decrease in 2009. It was caused by the economic crisis, which led to the reduction in internal migration by 7,000 arrivals in 2009 in comparison to 2007—2008.

Table 1

The indicators of emigration from Lithuania, 2004—2009, 1,000 people [14]

Emigration indicator 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Emigrants, total 32.5 48.1 27.8 26.5 23.7 34.7

Reported out-migration 15.2 15.6 12.6 13.8 17.0 22.0

Non-reported out-migration 17.3 32.5 15.2 12.7 6.7 12.7

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European countries account for more than 80 % of out-migration cases; for instance, the UK accounted for more than a quarter and Ireland for 12% in 2008. For a long time, the USA has ranked third (10.5 %). In 2005—2008, the share of Russia dropped from 7.1 % to 6.3% of the total migration stream. There has been an increase in such emigration routes as Norway, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Lithuanian Klaipeda County, which accommodates 11 % of the country's population, as to the general net international migration rate, accounts for 15%, being outstripped only by Vilnius (25 % of population), Kaunas (23%), and Siauliai (16%), which indicates dynamic migration processes [14]. Klaipeda County is one of the few, which, alongside Kaunas and Vilnius Counties shows a positive internal net migration rate. All other counties make a negative contribution to migration streams both in the country and abroad.

The international migration routes in Poland also demonstrate the emigration trend (table 2). The maximum emigration rate (out-migration for permanent residence) fell on 2006 and remained quite high until 2008. By 2009, as in-migration had increased and out-migration had dropped, the negative international migration balance was gradually decreasing reaching the level slightly over 1,000 people. The year of economic crisis, which Poland successfully survived (being the only European country where no recession was observed), radically changed the levels of cross-border migration. In-migration started to grow and out-migration to fall.

1 The specific features of Lithuanian international migration statistics relate to the observation of both officially registered migration and non-registered — unofficial — migration. The peak number of non-registered migration from Lithuania fell on 2005, which accounts for almost 68 % of total migration.

Table 2

The indicators of international migration in Poland, 2004—2009, people [11]

International migration in Poland 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

In-migration 9 495 9 364 10 802 14 995 15 275 17 424

Out-migration 18 877 22 242 46 936 35 480 30 140 18 620

Net migration rate - 9382 - 12 878 - 36 134 - 20 485 - 14 865 - 1 196

Seven out of sixteen Polish voivodeships, including Pomeranian Voivodeship (200 people), demonstrated a positive international migration rate in 2009 [11]. This fact signifies favourable economic and social conditions encouraging the immigration inflow. Pomeranian Voivodeship is one of the few that has positive internal migration rate per 1,000 people (1 per 1,000 per year), which is facilitated by both the increasing economic potential of the territory and the favourable economic-geographical position [10]. The share of Pomeranian Voivodeship in international migration is quite considerable. It accommodates 5.8 % of the country's population and welcomes up to 8.5 % of all immigrants. Its participation in emigration is also considerable — up to 7%. More than 10% of immigrants from Ireland, Germany, Russia, Sweden, the UK, and Asian countries, who entered Poland in 2008, headed to Pomeranian Voivodeship. The emigration streams from the voivodeship mostly coincide with the national trends and target Germany, the UK, Ireland, and the USA. The voivodeship makes a large contribution to the interchange with Sweden.

Polish statistics also covers temporary international migration (in- and outmigration up to 3 months stay) [10]. The number of temporary immigrants increased in 2000—2008 by 1.3 times (from 43.6 to 57.6 thousand people), and the number of the Polish temporary working abroad increased over the same period almost six fold (from 15.3 to 88.3 thousand people). From the total of temporary migrants who entered Poland in 2008, 70% are Europeans; 35 % of them are migrants from Ukraine, 13 % from Germany, 10 % from Belarus, and 6 % from Russia. In 2008, the most popular temporary emigration routes for the Polish were, first of all, the UK (42 %), Germany (14 %), and the Netherlands (7%).

The international migration routes in the Kaliningrad region, in general, coincide with the national ones. For Russia, as well as all its regions, migration rate is positive with the CIS countries, the Baltics, and Georgia and negative, though decreasing, with other countries. The share of the Kaliningrad region in Russian international migration is modest — slightly over 1 %. At the same time, per 1,000 residents (2009 data), the regional rate is almost twice as high as the national average in terms of both in- and out-migration (table 3).

Table 3

Comparative indicators of international migration in Russia and the Kaliningrad region in 2009, people,% [9]2

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International in-migration From Russia From the CIS countries, the Baltics, Georgia From other countries

Into Russia per 1,000 people 2.0 1.9 0.1

Into the Kaliningrad region, per 1,000 people 3.9 3.8 0.1

The share of the Kaliningrad region in international in-migration, % 1.31 1.31 1.23

International out-migration Beyond Russia To the CIS countries, the Baltics, Georgia To other countries

From Russia, per 1,000 people 0.2 0.2 0.1

From the Kaliningrad region, per 1,000 people 0.4 0.2 0.2

The share of the Kaliningrad region in out-migration, % 1.20 1.08 1.42

The dynamics of migration rate over the last years indicate a decrease in the interchange with mainland Russia and the increase in the in-migration from the CIS countries and the Baltics [3]. The greatest contribution to migration balance is made by Kazakhstan (39%), Kirgizia (15%), Uzbekistan (14%), Ukraine (9%), and Armenia (8%). The in-migration from these regions is many times as high as out-migration to them. The most intensive bilateral migration interchange takes place in the region with Lithuania. The total number of arrivals from Lithuania to the Kaliningrad region in 2004— 2009 amounted to 284, that of departure to 262. The traditionally close contacts of the residents of region with Germany stem from the movement through the region to the west of Russian speaking Germans from throughout Russia, especially in the 90s, who have recently been contributing to the return migration streams. In 2009, 84 migrants arrived from Germany, while 101 people departed to that country. Out-migration to the USA, though quite modest is three times as high as in-migration (three arrivals), as to Israel, the number of arrivals it is two times as large as that of departures. At the same time, there is a general tendency towards the decrease in departures beyond the post-Soviet space from 710 people in 2003 to 155 people in 2009.

The high rate of economic development of the Kaliningrad region in the pre-crisis period stimulated the increase in the inflow of temporary working migrants from abroad. In 2008, the region accommodated more than 19,000 foreign workers. The Uzbeks account for the largest part of arrivals — almost 54 %. The groups of migrants from Ukraine, Lithuania, and Turkey account for 8% each. Next largest groups are migrants from Kirgizia, Tajiki-

2 The table is compiled on the basis of statistics and the author's calculations.

stan, and Moldova. The crisis condition of economy affected the engagement of foreign labour force. In 2009, according to the Office of the Federal Migration Service in the Kaliningrad region, 5,500 foreign workers were registered in 2009, and 5,800 people in 2010 [5]. A specific feature of labour migration in the Kaliningrad region is an extremely stable contingent of residents oriented towards employment abroad. It is, first of all, mariners and fishers, who do not have an opportunity to find a job on Russian vessels. In 2009, approximately 7,000 Russian citizens were employed abroad (which is a little less than in 2008), most of them concluded contracts for up to six months.

The assessment of factors and consequences of cross-border migration

The above mentioned migration statistical data suggest that the SouthEast Baltic region is an active participant of cross-border migration. Its general vector is directed westwards; its development is affected by a set of factors. Let us try to systemise and assess them in the framework of the studied region. The factors listed below, according to E. Lee's theory of factors causing migrations [12], can serve as, on the one hand, push factors in the countries of departure and, on the other hand, as pull factors in the countries and regions of arrival. I identified among them:

Economic factors: the degree of differentiation of regional economy, the rate and level of economic development, the dynamics of labour market and number of jobs, the level of economic activity of the population, the employment and unemployment rates, the availability of migrant employment niches.

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Social factors: the decrease or increase in the cost of labour and the level of income, the living conditions, the conditions for social adaptation of migrants in foreign environment.

Demographic factors: the interdependence of natural and migration movement of population, migration as a factor affecting the demographic situation by means of migration policy.

Sociocultural factors: the availability and quality of education, language availability of education, the level of cultural distance between migrants and the residents of the place of destination and its impact on the adaptation process.

Geographical factors: economic-geographical and geopolitical position, the role of border in population mobility, the socioeconomic differentiation of the territory and its impact on migration structure and volume, urbanisation as a factor of migration mobility, the level of cross-border cooperation.

Institutional factors: state and regional legislation as a push or keep factor affecting the behaviour of migrants, the formation of diasporas, the migrant character of territory, the availability of migration networks and mediating structures.

There is a direct dependence between the volume of cross-border migration in the regions and the changes in the level and rate of their economic

development. Thus, migration, which is influenced by economic development, becomes something of an economic indicator. The peak streams of both temporary and permanent migration, both in Poland and Lithuania, fell in the pre-crisis period on 2005—2006 and were caused, first of all, by significant unemployment rates in these countries. Then, migration had a positive effect, since it alleviated the pressure on the social sphere, facilitated salary increase and the legalisation of shadow sectors. Later, as the rate of economic development increased, the streams of Polish and Lithuanian emigration gradually dropped, return emigration rate started to grow. Labour market experienced labour shortage, which was overcome by internal migration and the liberalisation of migration legislation regarding the neighbouring countries of Eastern Europe, first of all, Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.

As to the Kaliningrad region, the years of 2005—2007 also witnessed economic growth, the development of labour market, creation of new jobs, the decrease in unemployment rate to the minimal level, and, as a result, led to the largest over the recent years stream of temporary labour migration. The permanent migration movement in the region also experiences stable increase (up to 4,000 people per year), which has compensated for the negative effects of depopulation. The economic crisis, which severely affected the economy of Lithuania — it was, first of all, manifested in more than fourfold reduction in the number of vacancies in the labour market — again, contributed to migration outflow. If, before the crisis, "entrepreneurs were encouraging the Lithuanians to return to the country, as the crises began, such encouragement ceased to be", said the head of the Lithuanian IOM office [2]. It gave rise to the so called multi-phase migration, which takes place when people who have not settled in one country move to the second, the third one, etc. According to the head of Lithuanian IOM, "when migrants have changed several countries, it is more difficult to return or contact them". The Polish economy was least affected by the crisis, which was reflected in the volume of cross-border migration. The number of arrivals of permanent migrants increased; as to Pomeranian voivodeship, according to 2009 data, arrivals outstripped departures. In the Kaliningrad region, the crises led to the increase in unemployment rate in mid-2009 up to 11.6 % (calculated using the ILO definition), which resulted in measures aimed to stimulate the self-regulation of employment, organise of community services, and limit the stream of foreign labour force.

The difference in the levels of remuneration and, hence, the income, which immediately influences the quality of life, create conditions for migration attitudes. Average salaries both in Poland and Lithuania are two times as small as in Germany, the UK, and a number of other countries, which stimulates temporary migration aimed at maintaining the life quality of households. According to the Bank of Lithuania statistics, the deposits of the members of emigrants' families, who reside in Lithuania, are increasing. So, the volume of money transfers from Lithuanian migrants, who have lived abroad for more than a year, amounted to almost 3 bn lits in 2008. The contribution of incomes and transfers of citizens residing abroad to GDP ac-

counted for 3.6% in 2007 and 3.1 % in 2008. In the Kaliningrad region, the regional salary rate (400 EUR — 16249 roubles, which is twice as little as in Poland and 1.5 times as in Lithuania) [7] became the leading factor encouraging the inflow of labour migrants from the CIS countries into the region, but, at the same time, is a keep factor for cross-border migrants from a number of European countries.

The problems of demographic development confronted the three border regions constituting South-East Baltic as early as the 1990s. The most difficult demographic situation developed in the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation and Klaipeda County of Lithuania. They experience the decreases in reproduction rate due to low birth rate and persistent high mortality, especially, in the Kaliningrad region (mortality rate per 1,000 people, according to 2009 data, amounted in the region to 14.5, natural increase to - 3.8) [4].

The natural population decline in Lithuania, accompanied by migration outflow, according to the forecast of the member of the Faculty of Economics of Vilnius University G. Kasnauskiene [1], will lead to a significant decline in population in general and its working-age part against the background of increase in the share of senior citizens. According to her estimate, in 2060, the population of Lithuania will amount to approximately 2.5 mln people, which is 781,000 less than in the beginning of 2010. She also stresses that the mean age of Lithuanian residents will be one of the highest in the EU, namely, 51 years. The principal line of demographic policy capable of preventing the ageing of society is, in her opinion, the stimulation of birth rate, favourable for the economy immigration policy, and the employment of elderly people.

Poland, in general, stands out for its stable demographic situation, characterised by small natural increase, which, over the last years, has been approaching 1 %o. The birth rate in Pomeranian Voivodeship has been outstripping the mortality rate over the last decades. According to 2008 data, natural increase amounted to 7 per 1,000 people against the national average of 0.9; in 2009, it amounted to three against the same national average [15]. At the same time, it does not deliver the Polish labour market from the problems related to the decline in the number of working age population due to the outflow of a part of highly qualified specialists and the lack of human resources within certain industries even against the background of a high unemployment rate. Partially, this problem is being solved by engaging foreign labour force. The studies show that, in 2007, given insignificant migration outflow, in particular, from Pomeranian Voivodeship, labour demand increased and 52.3 % of the voivodeship enterprises faced recruiting problems, according to the estimates of Polish experts [13].

One of the consequences of globalisation and integration processes in the region is the growing migration mobility of students. According to Lithuanian statistics, in the beginning of 2008—2009 academic year, the number of Lithuanians studying abroad amounted to 3,200 people, while that of international students at Lithuanian universities amounted to 3,800 people. In the beginning of 2005—2006, this indicator was 2,300 and 1,900 people respec-

tively [14]. The number of international students in Poland increased more than twofold: from 6,500 people in 2000—2001 to 15,900 in 2008—2009 [10]. It is worth mentioning that a third of international students come from Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia, who are highly adaptive to receiving education in bordering states. The number of international students in the Kaliningrad region has been growing over the last years. So, at the moment, around 500 international students from throughout CIS, as well as Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Poland, France, and Cyprus are studying in the region, a half of them is studying at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University. Most students from the CIS and Baltic countries are Russian-speaking; they emphasise the opportunity to study in the native language as the main reason for receiving education in the Kaliningrad region.

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In the Baltic macroregion, all countries, with the exception of the Russian Federation, are EU member states; the barriers to the movement of human resources between them were eliminated. The border between the EU countries and the Russian Federation is fundamentally different. The opportunities for labour migration are limited, although, for certain categories of highly skilled specialists — Russian citizens, there are opportunities for legal employment and, as a result, naturalisation, in a number of EU countries. The limitations to the engagement of foreign work force do also exist in the Russian Federation, although a few EU citizens, first of all, from Lithuania, are employed at Kaliningrad enterprises. These are predominantly temporary labour migrants. Much more rarely, EU citizens move to the region for permanent residence. The developing cross-border cooperation between the regions of EU countries and the Russian Federation hardly concerns the movement of human resources and migration in general. Although the Baltic territories of the Russian Federation participate in a number of Euroregions, the nature of connections between the regions of EU, on the one hand, and between those and Russian regions, on the other hand, is not similar due to the difference in border transparency. The EU regions are linked by the Schengen area and disconnected from the Russian region by visa regime. At the same time, the visa obtaining procedures in South-East Baltic are being complicated and the negotiations on local border traffic have not been concluded yet.

The increase in emigration and demographic ageing of population forced regional communities to pay attention to the need to develop a migration policy aimed at maintaining and enhancing human resources. So, the overview of key laws on Polish migration policy and their authors complied by S. Rzyski and K. M^drzycka [8] puts forward arguments in support of the development of national migration policies alongside the EU one. In particular, in the opinion of K. Iglicka, such need arises from the significant population outflow and the growing labour shortage, which, according to her forecasts, will be increasing and "Poland will be forced to compete with other EU countries for labour force coming from non-EU countries" [8].

In 2007—2008, Lithuania took measures aimed to develop the so-called "selective open immigration policy" [6], according to which, the employment preference is given the local human resources and Lithuanian citizens,

who emigrated earlier. Moreover, highly qualified specialists from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Transcaucasia in in-demand in the Lithuanian economy professions will enjoy a simplified procedure of obtaining work permits, visas, or temporary residence permits. A possibility to give a qualified specialist an opportunity to look for a job in Lithuania within three month after the expiration of their employment contract will also be discussed. At the same time, Lithuanian immigration policy states that, in case of a change in the labour market situation, guest specialist will have to return to their countries. They are granted the right to stay in Lithuania only in view of public interests. The employees, who are allowed to reside in Lithuania permanently, will participate in integration programmes and learn the Lithuanian language.

The seriousness of demographic problems in Russia stressed the need to conduct an immigration policy consisting in the implementation of Voluntary repatriation programme in a number of the country's regions. The programme has been implemented since 2006, first in 12, and since 2010 in 27 constituent entities of the RF. The Kaliningrad region is one of the regions showing the best results, to a great degree, thanks to the migrant character of the territory and the established, especially in the 1990s, dense migration networks, which trigger the so called multiplication effect in population movement. Over the whole period, more than 8,000 repatriates entered the region, which is 40 % of all repatriates who arrived in our country within the Programme. Since 2010, the scope of the Programme has extended. The decree of the president of the RF from January 12, 2010 introduces an opportunity to include in the state programme the compatriots who returned to the country independently and already have a status of temporary or permanent residents of the Russian Federation.

The favourable economic-geographical position of the South-East Baltic region and the border territories it consists of create the conditions for active migration movement. As the analysis conducted shows, the nature of migration, which reflects the aggregate of socioeconomic processes taking place in the European area in the globalisation conditions calls for strengthening the regional approach to solving migration problems. Further development of the economic potential of regions in the conditions of demographic decline will strengthen regional migration policies aimed at maintaining and enhancing human resources. Thus, the global and local dimensions regarding migration and regulation on the small territory of South-East Baltic will continue to supplement each other in all spheres of economic and political life in the next years.


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About author

Dr Larisa Yemelyanova, Associate Professor, Department of Socioeconomic Geography and Geopolitics, head of the Kaliningrad Centre for Labour Market Monitoring and Forecasting, Immanuel Kant State University of Russia.

E-mail: lemelianova@kantiana.ru