Fall/Winter 2006

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Letter from the Publisher

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A Forward-Looking German Presidency

For at least two years, whenever or whatever went wrong in the European Union or in Transatlantic relations, there was an implicit expectation that it would be fixed… by the German presidency. Now Berlin’s turn has come: it has until June 2007, using Germany’s organizational ability and political skills, to make headway in resolving the multi-dimensional contradictions that have become our daily fare in the Western Hemisphere. Chancellor Merkel and her diplomatic team have laid the constructive groundwork for initiatives and meetings while seeking to lower expectations to align them more closely with what Berlin deems possible.

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Transatlantic Contradictions on Immigration

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Kathleen NewlandThe countries of Western Europe are countries of immigration to very nearly the same extent as the United States, judged by the proportion of the population made up of immigrants and their descendants. Yet the contrasts could hardly be more stark in the way people and policy-makers on opposite sides of the Atlantic look at the issue.
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Polish Migrants to Britain: Pros and Cons

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Tomasz ZalewskiIn our era of globalization and free market dogmatism, emigration is widely deemed a creative force. Labor flows between countries re-equilibrate labor markets in ever-broadening integrated economies such as the European Union.

Poland is a case in point. Since it joined the EU in 2004, up to two million Poles have left the country for jobs in Western Europe. This migration has alleviated Poland’s high unemployment, helping to cut the rate from 18 percent to around 15 percent. It has also filled gaps in the recipient nations’ labor markets. And the billions of zlotys transferred to Poland by its émigré “guest workers” undoubtedly bolster the Polish economy – in the same way that Mexico benefits from transfers of funds home by Mexican immigrants in the U.S.

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Europe: Immigration Unwanted

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Catherine Wihtol de WendenEurope has become the destination of many of the world's emigrants and thus the scene of a vast influx of immigrants over the last 20 years. This development, in a relatively short time span, reflects a convergence of events and trends that drew people toward Europe:

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Emigration Is Good News for Poland

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Piotr GillertThe flow of workers from Poland and other new democracies – symbolized by the Polish plumber in the collective European imagination – has triggered concern verging on alarm in Britain and other EU member states that have opened their job markets to EU newcomers. But it is not just the British tabloids that fret about Polish immigrants. The trend has also stirred a debate in Poland, where many people are concerned that the latest emigration wave constitutes a dangerous drain of motivated people and talent from the country.
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