Labour migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the Nordic countries

Patterns of migration, working conditions and recruitment practices

image of Labour migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in the Nordic countries

This report presents the results from a project that has aimed to generate new comparative knowledge about labour migration from Central and Eastern Europe to the Nordic countries, the factors that shape wage and working conditions for labour migrants and recruitment processes and practices. In the report we:

- Describe and compare patterns of labour migration between Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries.

- Compare the working conditions of Polish labour migrants in in Oslo, Copenhagen and Reykjavik – and analyse how their labour market situation is shaped by variations in national regulations, systems of collective bargaining and local labour market structures.

- Analyse the particular role of recruitment agencies in introducing new migrants to the Nordic labour markets.

The research has been conducted by a team of researchers from Fafo (Norway), FAOS (Denmark), CIRRA/MIRRA (Iceland), CMR (Poland) and SOFI (Sweden).




In two successive waves, 2004 and 2007, a total of ten Central and Eastern European countries, together with Cyprus and Malta, joined the European Union. One consequence of the enlargement was the dismantling of barriers between national labour markets with substantial differences in working– and living conditions. Following the enlargement the Nordic labour countries proved to be attractive for many job seekers from the new EU member states. According to statistics more than 600,000 workers from Central and Eastern European countries found their way to the Nordic labour markets during the period 2004–2011.


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