Pioneers of European Integration

Pioneers of European Integration

Citizenship and Mobility in the EU

Edited by Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell

The free movement of EU citizens is the most visible sociological consequence of the remarkable process of European integration that has transformed the continent since the Second World War. Pioneers of European Integration offers the first systematic analysis of the small but symbolically potent number of Europeans who have chosen to live and work as foreigners in another member state of the EU. Based on an original survey of 5000 people moving to and from the EU’s five largest countries, the book documents the demographic profile, migration choices, cultural adaptation, social mobility, political participation and media use of these pioneers of a transnational Europe, as well as opening a window to the new waves of intra-EU East–West migrations.

Chapter 1: Pioneers of European Integration: An Introduction

Adrian Favell and Ettore Recchi

Subjects: development studies, migration, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, migration, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, migration, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, migration


Adrian Favell and Ettore Recchi INTEGRATING EUROPE ‘FROM BELOW’: THE ROLE OF FREE MOVEMENT The European Union stands as a unique economic, political, legal and social experiment in transnational regional integration. The world we live in may still be one primarily organized by and for territorial nation states, but if one empirical example is to be sought of how a post-national or cosmopolitan polity and society might be built, the EU is the only actually existing institutional example. Built on a regional territorial logic, its complex structures are also the best guide to the way a progressive and governable political order might be constructed from the economic free-for-all of globalisation. In no other part of the world have sovereign nation states bonded together to voluntarily relinquish large aspects of their sovereign control of economy and polity to a set of common supranational institutions. And in no other part of the world have such institutions created a form of post-national citizenship within a transnational regional political order. Arguably the most fundamental part of the traditional nation state’s claim to sovereignty is its claim of territorial jurisdiction over the member citizens that live within its borders (Torpey 2000). Yet at the heart of the European Union lies the principle of free movement: of the capital, goods and services that oil the wheels of international trade and business, but also of persons who, within its realm, now have the right to move, travel, study-work, settle and retire anywhere within its member states. EU...