Ukrainian refugees: harm or help to the European economy?


Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation, more than 14.5 million citizens left Ukraine, at least 11.7 million of them — to the countries of the European Union. This was announced by the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, Dmytro Lubinets.

In order to demoralize, spread protest sentiments inside the country, and in order to force the Ukrainian authorities to start negotiations, Russia has been committing a war crime since October — shelling the energy infrastructure and leaving millions of Ukrainians without electricity, heating, or water.

Ukrainian refugees in Poland

Therefore, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) expects another wave of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine to Europe in the winter due to «unlivable» conditions.

How much money do countries spend from their budgets on military aid and aid to Ukrainians fleeing the war? But how much do refugees add to the state treasury?

The International Monetary Fund has researched that Poland, Germany, Estonia, and Moldova sheltered the most Ukrainian refugees.

Currently, there are 950,000 refugees from Ukraine in Poland. 90% of refugees from the war in Ukraine who are in Poland are women and children. It was announced by the Deputy Chairman of the Polish Development Fund (PFR), Bartosz Marchuk.

Bartosz Marchuk, deputy head of the Polish Development Fund, Source:

Poland has spent 1.45 billion PLN ($250 million) to help Ukrainian refugees since February 24. Poland provided military aid to Ukraine in the amount of more than 10 billion zlotys (€2.1 billion).

«About 60-70% of adult refugees from the war in Ukraine (320,000 out of 450,000) have already found employment in Poland. This is a very high level of employment. It can be estimated that in 2022, about 4 billion zlotys ($900 million) will go to the budget from the taxes and social deductions themselves, and in 2023, about 6 billion zlotys (over $1.3 billion) will be received,» — Marchuk said.


Poland is not the only one

The head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Andriy Pyshnyi, notes that Ukrainians abroad quickly integrate into society, find jobs, pay taxes, and spend the money they earn in all the countries they visit.

«Thanks to the contribution of Ukrainian migrants, the GDP in, for example, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic in 2026 will be 2.2-2.3% higher than in the scenario without migration», — analyzes Andrii Pyshnyi.

Therefore, Ukrainian refugees do not create problems for the state budget of the countries that receive them. On the contrary, they help support the economy and pay more taxes than the state allocates for them.

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