ECONOMIC CHALLENGES TO UKRAINIAN REFUGEE INTEGRATION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

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Atanas Dimitrov
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5211-5008
Vasil Pavlov
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5832-971X

Abstract

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has resulted in the displacement of millions of Ukrainians, leading to socio-economic and political challenges for the host countries. The Refugee Response Plan, encompassing heavily affected EU Member States, has been the focus of this study, examining how the issue of refugee integration was addressed, with a specific emphasis on flaws and omissions in the approach. Various demographic and socioeconomic data and strategic national documents related to refugee integration were compared for this analysis. Employment was identified as a key tool for the integration of Ukrainian refugees. The findings revealed a lack of a common refugee integration policy among the surveyed countries despite similar past and current socioeconomic circumstances and security environments, including mixed migration. Ambiguities across these countries, including local population perceptions hindering Ukrainian refugee integration, were observed. Consequently, we assert the necessity for EU harmonized measures, emphasizing their long-term implementation to alleviate the economic burden of the war in Ukraine and provide predictability in the actions of individual governments.

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How to Cite
Dimitrov, Atanas, and Vasil Pavlov. 2023. “ECONOMIC CHALLENGES TO UKRAINIAN REFUGEE INTEGRATION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE”. Journal of Liberty and International Affairs 9 (3):98-118. https://doi.org/10.47305/JLIA2393089d.
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Author Biographies

Atanas Dimitrov, University of National and World Economy - Sofia, Bulgaria

Atanas Dimitrov has been teaching since 2015 at the University of National and World Economics (UNWE), Bulgaria, where he currently holds the position of Senior Assistant Professor. He has been a guest lecturer in Italy, Poland and Spain. Atanas Dimitrov is a former EVS volunteer, Consultant at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Education for Justice (E4J) Integrity & Ethics Champions Programme) and a Transparency International School on Integrity fellow. Since November 2022, he has been manager of SDSN Bulgaria. Atanas Dimitrov has a PhD in Economics and Management (Defence and Security Economics)from the UNWE. His research interests and publications mainly focus on peace and conflict studies, migrant and refugee studies, tertiary education, ethics and integrity.

Vasil Pavlov, University of National and World Economy - Sofia, Bulgaria

Vasil Pavlov is a PhD student at the Department “National and Regional Security” of theUniversity of National and World Economy (UNWE). In the period 2015-2020, he graduated aBachelor's and Master's degree in the specialty "Economics of Defense and Security" in the same department. Between November 2021 and February 2022, he conducted research mobility at theUniversity of International Studies (UNINT), Rome, Italy. He is author or co-author of 8publications, some of which in journals indexed in international databases such as Scopus and Webof Science. His main research interests are focused on the study of social and economic aspects ofmigration and refugee processes.As a PhD student, he participates in several scientific and research projects funded under theOperational Programme “Science and Education for Smart Growth”, Ministry of Education andScience of the Republic of Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian National Science Fund. As a Senior Expertin the Center for Research and Educational Projects of UNWE, Vasil Pavlov takes part in thedevelopment and implementation of projects with national and international funding.