Citizenship and Mobility in the EU
Edited by Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell
Nina Rother and Tina M. Nebe FREE MOVEMENT AND EUROPEAN IDENTITY: WHICH RELATIONSHIP? European citizens who live in an EU country other than their native one come in closer contact with many of the EU’s policies than those who stay at home. These EU movers, as we have called them, can benefit from their French health insurance in Germany, shop with the Euro in a wide range of countries and pay reduced home-student tuition fees at British universities. Movers can experience European integration first-hand, be it at the dinner table with friends in the country of residence, at the workplace, or in everyday interaction in a supermarket or at a bus stop. Experiences related to European Union policies or contact and exchange with other EU citizens – if experienced as positive – may affect pro-European attitudes and identities.1 Movers, in short, might differ from stayers regarding their level of Europeanness. But is this necessarily true? Couldn’t positive experiences and contacts in Italy simply make a German Italophile rather than pro-European? Much has been written about the absence of Europe in the lives of ordinary EU citizens (Shore and Black 1994; Meinhof 2004). Maybe moving from Germany to Italy simply makes movers feel at home in two societies, without them developing a new tier of identification with a supranational entity. Maybe movers shop with the Euro and use the health insurance of their country of origin while resident elsewhere, yet stay unattached to the European Union that claims to have made these things...
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