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Czech migration discourse and policy: fuelling the fire

Tomáš Jungwirth Tomáš Jungwirth / Ed. 10. 5. 2017
Czech migration discourse and policy: fuelling the fire
foto SHUTTERSTOCK

Although the European refugee crisis has not had a material impact on the number of asylum requests in the Czech Republic, there are notable ramifications in its wake, particularly with the escalation of public debate. As of spring 2017, the political focus has shifted towards labor migrants who are on one hand in high demand on the Czech job market but at the same time ostracized and denounced as criminals. The Ministry of Interior has launched an initiative aimed to substantially curb migrants’ rights. This constitutes a part of the campaign for the general elections held this October, yet how high migration-related topics will rise on the public agenda ahead of the vote remains to be seen.

With the so-called EU refugee crisis gradually disappearing from media headlines, by late-2016 migration had also momentarily faded from the Czech public agenda. However, with the general election looming in October 2017, there is an effort to bring it back to the forefront. This time, as opposed to asylum-seekers, the discussion focuses on labor migrants including EU citizens. In the background of this development are nationalistic and xenophobic sentiments, fears of foreign workers dragging down wages, as well as real problems in civic coexistence. Nevertheless, just how significant the potential mobilization of migration-related topics will be prior to the election remains to be seen. The following study attempts to identify the most important developments which have taken place in the past several months, and also to provide some outlook on what to expect in the near future.

Původní vydání: Czech migration discourse and policy: fuelling the fire

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