ECAS Knowledge Centre
Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
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This study was undertaken to estimate some aspects of the net fiscal impact of EU migrants in four EU countries Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The report outlines the role of Fiscal Impact of EU Migrants in Selected Countries migrants from EU countries as participants in the labour market, as taxpayers and as benefit recipients also. The fiscal contribution of EU foreigners has increased substantially in the past several years. Compared to 2009, inn 2013 EU migrants paid 31% more in direct taxes as their wages increased and more EU workers found employment opportunities in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. As migration accelerated, EU foreigners also paid 44% more on indirect taxes, as they spent more onconsumer purchases. EU foreigners in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK received 35% more benefits than they did in 2009, due to the overall expansion of the welfare state in addition to the inflow of EU migrants.
Practices across the Union vary considerably. The time, money and efforts needed to prepare applications is highly variable, and there are frequent administrative burdens. Availability of information also varies. While some nations (generally Western European nations) provide clear, accessible and user-friendly information online; others (notably Germany and Italy) provide patchy and uneven information. Information hotlines leave much to be desired across the Union. Recommendations include creating single contact points within relevant administrations and providing training to national authorities on free movement rights.
"Welfare tourism" expresses the concern that individuals use the right of free movement of persons with a view to benefiting from a more favourable welfare system. The principle of free movement of persons entitles EU citizens to reside in another Member State, under certain conditions. Only limited restrictions can curtail this right, namely temporary restrictions based on the Accession Treaties, agreed for the recent enlargements. Even if there are very few barriers to free movement, intra-EU mobility is limited and most of it is directed to EU 15. National social security systems are coordinated to ensure that free movement of persons is not hindered. Expenditure on social protection is spread across a range of welfare benefits in broadly similarly shares throughout the EU. Assessing the impact of immigration is not straightforward. Some elements can help to assess its impact on social security, but those studies which do exist stress the lack of data relevant to the issue, and the limited impact on welfare systems. Current concerns about "welfare tourism" mobility relate in particular to the imminent ending of transitional arrangements.
This study provides an overview of the situation of migrants from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in Germany, with this chapter particularly focusing on the labour market integration of EaP migrants, their access to social assistance and social services, and the impact of these flows on the German labour market. We then provide an informed view of the scope for future increased mobility between Germany and EaP countries, in the light of the skills needs and demographic trends expected in the next 10 to 20 years. Based on the results, the following conclusions can be drawn. More than half of EaP migrants come to Germany for work and study purposes. Family reunification is important for Ukrainians and Moldovans. Work and family purposes are the two main residence grounds for migrants from Moldova and Ukraine, while the other nationalities hold residence permits for reasons of study and work in most cases.
A8 immigrants who are eligible to receive state benefits are 60% less likely to claim for them than the native population -- and are 13% less likely to do so adjusting for demographics. Since 2004, A8 migrants have made net contributions to public finances. Immigrants also tend to be more highly educated, more likely to participate in the job market, and have much higher employment rates.
Following an article by the Prime Minister's in the Financial Times on 27 November 2013 in which he said he shared concerns about the impact of lifting transitional restrictions on the rights of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals to work in the UK from 1 January 2014, the Government has introduced a raft of measures "to tighten up our EEA migration rules to ensure our welfare system is not taken advantage of."
International migration is one of the key factors that shape our globalising world. An increasingly growing literature on migration reflects this significance of international population movements. This article reviews three recent books which focus on the role of nation-states in managing and shaping migration processes and examine the relation between national and human security. While the work of Elizabeth Mavroudi and Caroline Nagel takes a bird's-eye view of migration, it underlines the nation-state-centred perspective in migration studies. Gabriella Lazaridis and Wadia Khursheed focus on the member states of the European Union and analyse discourse, practice, and consequences of the securitization of migration which has dominated in Europe since 9/11. On the other hand, Innes's book also deals with securitization, but it concentrates on security seen 'from below'. Drawing onexperiences of asylum seekers, Alexandria J. Innes criticizes the privileging of the nationstate in security analysis. Taken together, these works pose both empirical and normative questions about the role of the nation-state in the context of migration. Although the works do not provide ultimate answers, they suggest potential future research directions. I argue that there are two problems which seems to be particularly compelling. First, what are thefunctions and the consequences, given its current ineffectiveness, of securitisation policy? Second, how can state security be reconciled with inclusive human security?
The free movement of workers is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU). Therefore, EU citizens are entitled to look for a job in another EU country; work there without needing a work permit; reside there for that purpose; stay there even after employment has finished and enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages. But how many EU citizens take advantage of this right, and reside and work in another EU Member State? Which are the main countries, both in absolute and relative terms? What are the characteristics of these "mobile" citizens, especially in terms of level of education and employment rate, if we compare them with the "non-mobile" EU citizens (those residing in their country of citizenship)? These are the main questions which this article tries to answer, based on Eurostat's (new) datasets on labour mobility.
3.8% of European Union (EU) citizens of working age (20-64) were residing in another Member State than that oftheir citizenship in 2017. This share has increased from 2.5% ten years ago. The situation varies among Member States, ranging from 1.0% for working age citizens of Germany to 19.7% for citizens of Romania. Tertiary graduates are generally more mobile than the rest of the population. 32.4% of mobile EU citizens have tertiary education, while the share for the entire EU population is 30.1%. The employment rate of mobile EU citizens is also higher than that of the entire population: 76.1%, compared with the total EU employment rate of 72.1%. These findings come from a publication issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
National judges and Member State governments have an obligation to be assertive about national interests threatened by EU policies, even to the extent of challenging existing doctrines of law, proposing new interpretations, and insisting on the proper division of judicial functions, for they have particular knowledge and understanding of the consequence of EU law. An unquestioning obedience to the Court of Justice and to established doctrine is not loyalty, but subversion of an essential legal dialogue, and a failure to play an active and constructive role in building a legal system which serves the goals and wellbeing of Europeans. The Brexit debate is a case study in this: despite claiming publicly that mass migration was threatening essential and legitimate public interests, the UK did not attempt to use the available doctrines or derogations to defend these, behaving as if legal orthodoxy was fixed in stone, and the only options were leave or accept. It would have been more loyal, more European, more helpful to Europe, to impose unilateral restrictions and defend them vigorously with evidence and good arguments.
What happens when a comprehensive right to free movement meets national welfare systems? If we look at the contemporary EU we can begin to see at least part of the answer and the resultant unstable social and political equilibrium. Free movement for goods, capital and services as well as people – the so-called four freedoms – has been a key component of the EU's identity as an international organization since its foundation in the 1950s and is closely associated with economic integration. A positive ideology of free movement linked to a radical experiment in open borders is uneasily coupled with a continued attachment in member states to social solidarity and cohesion associated with national welfare states. Trying to square this circle has unleashed new political dynamics that challenge the European project. This chapter links the contestation of free movement to perceived effects on welfare,declining trust in politics (which itself is linked to immigration) and as a factor underlying growth in support for Eurosceptic, populist and extreme right political parties. The political sensitivity of the issue was made crystal clear in a joint letter (Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior et al., 2013) sent in summer 2013 by the Austrian, German,Dutch and UK interior ministers to the Council Presidency calling for action to combat 'the fraudulent use of the right of free movement' and the resultant 'excessive strain on the social systems in the receiving societies'. Reactions to the letter revealed dividing lines within the EU, with newer member states as well as Sweden describing the letter as unjustified scaremongering. The EU Commission called on the letter-writing governments to produce evidence of such welfare abuse and said that the claims did not reflect the EU's own statistics (ibid.). In 2013 the Commission actually set out new actions to boost citizens' rights, based on statutory entitlement to freedom of movement. Jean Claude Juncker, Commission President since June 2014, made it clear anew that free movement was a core principle of the EU and not an issue on which he was prepared to make concessions. Opinion research shows that the right to free movement remains highly valued not only by EU technocrats but also by EU citizens themselves. According to the Eurobarometer, the 'freedom to travel, study and work anywhere in the EU' ranks year after year among the most important issues related to a united Europe (Recchi, 2015: 1). Hence, as Recchi (ibid.) points out, it is not 'the euro, nor democracy, nor peace among nations, but rather free movement which epitomizes the EU in the minds of Europeans', as shown, for example, by 2011 Eurobarometer data showing that 48 per cent of respondents across the EU see it as the most important right attached to EU citizenship (Eurobarometer 2011). This chapter surveys both the origins and more recent contestation of free movement with a particular focus on interactions between free movement and welfare. It focuses on developments in the UK and Germany to show how opposition to free movement and to the EU (albeit of very different types) has coalesced within new political movements that can challenge mainstream views on the 'European project'.
The judgment in the Kuldip Singh case places a loose lid on the Pandora's box of third country national (TCN) rights earned in the penumbra of Union citizenship. The case focuses on the right to remain in a host Member State for the TCN spouse of a migrant EU citizen, in case of departure of the sponsor EU citizen, followed by dissolution of marriage.
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