Crossing Over, Heading West and South: Mobility, Citizenship and Employment in the Enlarged Europe
Title: Crossing Over, Heading West and South: Mobility, Citizenship and Employment in the Enlarged Europe
Citation: Georg MENZ and Alexander CAVIEDES (eds), Labour Migration in Europe, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 127-149
A question looms large in EU studies dealing with migration: does the EU have a migration policy at all? Most scholars argue that the answer is, basically, ‘no’. In fact, while we acknowledge that the EU has not inspired consistent regulations of migration flows and integration measures in member states, there is a EU policy (and a related discourse) that has shaped the ways population movements are managed in the Union: European citizenship and its underlying distinction between ‘migration’ (for TCNs) and ‘mobility’ (for EU citizens). This is a meta-policy with long-standing factual outcomes, ultimately creating a priority access to immigrant labor markets for workers originating from the East of the continent over those coming from the Southern borders (or further away). Even if at times the public opinion seemed reluctant about this migration policy (e.g., the Polish-plumberfobia in France in 2004-2005, the anti-Romanians sentiment in Italy in 2007-2008), overall this solution turned to be the least conflictive compromise between employers’ demand for immigrant work and voters’ hostility towards ethnic minorities. Given this policy framework, the paper illustrates the volume and directions of migration flows within the enlarged EU in the 2000s, profiling Eastern European immigrants on the basis of qualitative evidence on their experiences of East-West mobility.
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