Straz Graniczna: The Mission, Structure and Operations of Poland’ s Border Guard
The chief agency charged with controlling movement across Poland’s 3424 kilometre long frontier is the Border Guard (Straz Graniczna — SG). Created in Autumn 1990, and taking its name from an inter-war formation, the SG is the product of two ongoing influences: first, it is influenced by the new democratic political order which seeks radical transformation of organisations that had served as instruments of the defunct communist regime; the second influence is the need to adapt Polish border controls to the new transnational conditions prevailing in post-communist Europe. This intermixture of internal political requirements and external cross-border pressures, however, has produced some contradictory pressures in shaping the mission of the Border Guard. The domestic impetus for reform demanded a border guard service that would be de-politicised, with human rights practices which would conform to western standards and which would operate to the procedures of a police force rather than a military organisation. Moreover, Polish political changes marked the beginning of a policy reorientation that promoted open frontiers and the free movement of people.
KeywordsEastern Border Illegal Migration Armed Attack Detention Centre Nuclear Trafficking
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