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Relations between Szczecin and Uecker-Randow county as an example of transborder city-development

Adam Jarosz
Nicolaus Copernicus University
Adam Jarosz
Nicolaus Copernicus University
Open Panel

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present the results of a research about the process of Polish settlement and political activity in the German Uecker-Randow county, as well as to show the influence of European policy on the city-development, which crosses the state borders. This phenomenon happens already in the region of Szczecin – the metropolis on the Polish-German border. Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, Polish citizens have begun to discover areas on the German side as a cheap housing “paradise”. The widening of the Schengen Zone in 2007 and disappearance of the border control have stimulated this development. Since the German reunification in 1990 the Uecker-Randow county has experienced many difficulties such as unemployment, emigration, or lack of prospects for the local community. It was the cause of lower prices of flats and houses than in the city of Szczecin which develops very dynamically and causes great demand and rises on immobility market. It is worth emphasizing that Szczecin is very well communicated with Germany by the A6 motorway and regular rail connections, what makes it very easily accessible for the inhabitants of towns and villages located on the German side. A ride from some districts to the centre takes longer than from e.g. Löcknitz, which is located 25 km and about 30 minutes drive from the city centre. The local German authorities have approved the idea of settling Poles in inhabited spaces with openness and enthusiasm. Apart from the fact that the German labour market remains closed for Polish workers until may 2011, some of them decided to establish their businesses, what contributes to better economic development and job opportunities for local people. Poles have also engaged themselves in local politics and they have participated in local elections. More and more Germans begin also to look for jobs in Szczecin, which begins to regain the traditional role the centre for historic Pomerania region.