Citizenship and Mobility in the EU
Edited by Ettore Recchi and Adrian Favell
Chapter 9: Internal and External Movers: East–West Migration and the Impact of EU Enlargement
Adrian Favell and Tina M. Nebe THE ECONOMICS AND POLITICS OF EAST–WEST MIGRATION The growing intra-EU mobility of West Europeans, that is the principle focus of this book, has been a largely unremarked – if not almost invisible – phenomenon in most countries of residence. This is decisively not the case with migrants and movers from East and Central Europe. In the run-up to the two EU accessions of 2004 and 2007, there was a great deal of media coverage of these other ‘pioneers of European integration’, in often very hostile terms. EU enlargement, of course, notionally changes the migration/mobility relationship of East and Central European citizens to the West, from external migrants to internal movers. Supposedly, some day, Polish or Romanian movers (for example), should simply become indistinguishable from their mobile West European counterparts, in rights and opportunities, if not in reality. For the moment, this outcome has been stalled, despite the twin accessions, by the maintenance of certain transitional limitations on mobility to most of the older member states, although one by one the barriers are coming down. Initially only three countries – Ireland, Sweden and Britain – opened their borders with no transitional barriers to the new A8 members in 2004. This included Poland, with the largest population of potential movers. From May 2006, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Finland followed suit. Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Italy also reduced barriers for the first wave of new members, with only Germany and Austria saying they would maintain them for the...
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