Kontakty polsko-ukraińskie a zmiany wzajemnego postrzegania Polaków i Ukraińców
The Impact of Polish-Ukrainian Cross-Border Contacts for the Mutual Perception of Poles and Ukrainians
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The article shows the dynamics of mutual perception of Poles and Ukrainians that occur against the background of growing intensity of Polish-Ukrainian contact, which is especially clearly seen after Poland has joined the European Union. These contacts led to the situation, when the image of Ukrainians in the eyes of the Poles turned warmer and ceased to be as deeply as before rooted in history. Poles noticed some values they share with Ukrainians. The image of Poland and Poles in the eyes of Ukrainians has a lot of very positive elements: Poles are modern, agile and tolerant, and Poland is a country where the authorities care about people and respect their freedom and where there is a rapid economic growth. In the attitudes of Poles there are many inconsistencies and paradoxes: Ukrainian state is assessed as ineffective and affected with corruption, but at the same time Poles would like to see Ukraine as a member of the European Union. In the Polish associations with Ukraine one can see the echo of tragic events of the World War II, but at the same time the Ukrainians are widely accepted in Poland as workers and often do jobs that require a significant level of trust: such as baby sitting, taking care of elderly parents or cleaning up the private apartments. The growing number of immigrants from Ukraine in Poland can, however, lead to conflicts over access to the labour market, which may have broader social effect. Migration crisis in Europe contributes also to the growth of hostility towards immigrants in Polish society. This change may also affect the Ukrainians.
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