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 7: EU Movers and Politics: Towards a Fully-Fledged European Citizenship?

Anne Muxel

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


Anne Muxel INTRODUCTION As an economic, social and cultural entity, the European Union has made much progress in recent decades, becoming a visible and objective reality in both the representations and practices of the inhabitants of its member countries. Nevertheless, Europe as a political space is not so well advanced. The political construction of the EU has not only encountered formal and institutional obstacles – such as the referenda rejections of European constitutional reform in France, the Netherlands and Ireland – but also problems of recognition by its own citizens. In the space of 20 years up to 2004, while the powers and prerogatives of the European Union have not ceased to expand, the abstention rate in European elections has gone up by 17.3 points on average in all countries and, in many of them, comprise half the electorate. This paradox clearly reveals how difficult it is to implement the idea of European citizenship and mobilize the genuine consciousness of a European political space. Research devoted to European citizenship – which reports on national public opinion concerning Europe – shows a fairly sizeable imbalance between, on the one hand, the relative acceptance of the Union and the largely positive image it enjoys; and on the other, the weakness of effective practices in this new field of civic expression and intervention (Cautrés and Reynié 2001; Duchesne and Frognier 2002). The European Union has suffered a ‘democratic deficit’ from the beginning of its history (Lindberg and Scheingold 1970; Siedentop 2001; Déloye 2005). Time has...

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