A Continent Moving West

The Effects of Migration on Central European Society

20 December 2018

The following is the first part of a series of articles – selected pieces from the book “The Great Return: Slovakia’s Lost Daughters and Sons Come Home” written by Zuzana Palovic.


The inclusion of the “East” into the “West” at the beginning of the 21st century spurred an unprecedented migration wave across the landmass of Europe. This time the migration journeys of Slovaks, Hungarians, Poles and other fresh EU member nations took them to new destinations, such as the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Some 100,000 Slovaks left the country. For many it felt like the gateway to the West had at last been opened, a decade and a half after the collapse of the Iron Curtain.

Surprising to some, was just how far the people of Europe’s East ventured. It seemed they skipped over Austria and Germany entirely and instead opted to go much further West.

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Zuzana Palovic

Published Author, Scholar and CEE Migration Expert, with a specialisation in international migration and knowledge transfer, Dr. Palovic is also the founder and co-director of Global Slovakia. An NGO dedicated to creating unique and bilingual content that helps to spotlight, codify and communicate Central Europe’s remarkable story to a wider international audience.

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