ABSTRACT

The beginning of today’s regulation of interethnic relations in Europe originates, according to Rex (1995), in the period following the Second World War1 when Europe had to face new challenges relating to immigration. The need for (mainly unskilled but also professional) workers in the growing economies of post-war Europe caused a real wave of both interstate and intercontinental migration. While we cannot make generalizations around the immigration experiences of European member states as they are highly heterogeneous, it is possible, as Chahrokh et al. (2004) argue, to identify three types of countries which, in the post-Second World War period, were especially attractive for immigrants: former colonial states (such as the UK, France and The Netherlands), states which were systematically recruiting migrant workers (such as Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Luxemburg and Belgium) and later, in the 1980s and 1990s, the so-called ‘new immigration’ countries (such as Spain, Greece, Italy, Finland, Portugal and Ireland). Immigrants to Europe mainly stemmed from former colonies (Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean), Turkey and, in the last wave during the 1990s, post-socialist countries (such as Romania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia).