MOVEACT Project presentation: “All Citizens Now”:
A study on Intra-EU Mobility and the European Crisis are presented on Thursday November 1st 2012 in an event organised by ELIAMEP, in cooperation with the University of Macedonia and the NGO Symβiosis. The MOVEACT research project was co-funded by the European Union (European Commission, DG Justice, Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme). The findings concern British, German, Polish and Romanian citizens residing in France, Greece, Italy and Spain. A key aspect of the European integration process is the right to free movement. Such a right is actually seen by both citizens and policy-makers as the core element embodying the notion of EU citizenship.
“EU movers”, notably mobile EU citizens who have exercised their free movement rights and settled in a Member State different from the one in which they were born or raised, represent between 2% and 3% of the total population residing in the EU27.
Their numbers have increased since 2004 and especially since 2007, when the Central Eastern European countries joined the EU. Such recent intra-EU mobility has been primarily economically motivated: EU citizens from the new Member States look for better job opportunities and life prospects. However, mobility has been a feature of European integration from early-on: people have moved from their Member State of origin to another Member State to pursue job or study opportunities, for family reasons (marriage for instance) or simply for better quality of life (looking for warmer climates and a slower pace of life) since the introduction of free movement rights.
EU movers are a heterogeneous bunch: manual workers (mostly but not only from new Member States), high-skilled globally-oriented professionals, North-to-South retirees, students, life-style movers, bi-national family members. But whatever their personal trajectories, expectations and plans, these people can be seen as the “pioneers’” of European integration “from below’” They “embody” EU citizenship as living testimonials of a truly transnational Europe. The MOVEACT Project delves into the experiences and opinions of mobile EU citizens, asking several questions:
- Do EU movers endorse the European integration project and support it, or simply free-ride on its mobility and no-discrimination benefits?
- Are they integrated in the localities where they have re-settled? Do they ‘activate’ their citizenship by participating in social and political life?
Anna Triandafyllidou, ELIAMEP
Lois Lambrianidis, University of Macedonia
Chair: Lois Lambrianidis