Die Kleinen führen die EU

Die Ablehnung des Verfassungsvertrages der EU in den Referenden in Frankreich und den Niederlanden hat, so scheint es, zu einem neuen Konsens geführt, dass die weitere Vergrößerung der Union verlangsamt oder sogar gestoppt werden sollte. Die Vertreter dieser Haltung sind der Ansicht, dass die Wähler in der EU von der Erweiterung vom Mai 2004, als acht frühere kommunistische Länder der EU beitraten, verschreckt wurden und verärgert sind, dass man sie nicht dazu befragt hat.

Eine Reihe von Ängsten betrifft den Arbeitsmarkt – die so genannte Frage des „polnischen Klempners“. Hier wird davon ausgegangen, dass aufgrund des Zustroms schlecht qualifizierter und billiger Zentraleuropäer die Löhne untergraben wurden und Arbeitsplätze verloren gingen. Sonderfälle wie die Verluste deutscher Arbeitsplätze in der Fleischverarbeitungs- und Verpackungsindustrie oder französischer Jobs im Bereich der Gelegenheitsarbeit wurden als Beleg einer neuen Bedrohung weithin diskutiert.

Tatsächlich jedoch taugt der „polnische Klempner“ kaum als Schreckgespenst. Erstens bestand tatsächlich bereits vor der Erweiterung ein erheblicher Zufluss an Arbeitnehmern. Selbst während der kommunistischen Ära arbeiteten Polen in bestimmten Bereichen der Landwirtschaft – etwa im Zuckerrübenanbau und bei der Weinernte, und mit dem Fall des Eisernen Vorhangs 1989 nahm der Zustrom an legalen und illegalen Arbeitskräften erheblich zu.

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