The project is based on the premise that the social adaptation and labor market integration of temporarily displaced Ukrainians are closely related. Russian aggression against Ukraine has caused the greatest refugee movement of a civilian population in Europe since the end of World War II. Within one month, more than 4 million people have been forced to flee Ukraine (about 90% of them women and children), and 6.5 million have had to relocate within Ukraine itself. For many EU member states and their societies, the influx of Ukrainian refugees has created not only a considerable humanitarian challenge but also a social and economic one. The project will focus on two EU countries from a comparative perspective. The first is Poland, which shares a direct border with Ukraine and has taken in around 2.6 million refugees. The country has been a major destination of both labor migrants and refugees from Ukraine in the last decade and shares many cultural and linguistic ties with Ukraine. The second country we will examine in this context is Austria, where a little more than 50,000 temporarily displaced Ukrainians have arrived so far, many of them in Vienna.
The current migration movements need scientific scrutiny in order to identify a number of new challenges, particularly due to the large number of people transferred to the EU from Ukraine in a very short period. The situation of many Ukrainians in the EU is compounded by feelings of sudden uprooting, as well as trauma from experiences of war and loss and fear for loved ones who are still in Ukraine. The project envisions an in-depth study of the integration processes of displaced persons into the social and economic spheres in Austria and Poland, examining the social adaptation and employment processes of Ukrainians in Austria and Poland. The results will provide a guideline for decision-making by government agencies and NGOs in order to optimize the stay of displaced persons and efficiently use human resources, support socio-economic success and forecast future developments using economic modeling.
This Residential Fellowship for Ukrainian Scholars is made possible by a cooperation with the Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET).