ECAS Knowledge Centre
Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
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This study has been conducted by ECAS within the framework of the ECI Support Centre with the kind assistance of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. The study aims to promote a better understanding of the ECI Regulation, particularly on the registration procedures for a proposed initiative, and it suggests a number of recommendations to be discussed when the review of the Regulation takes place based on an analysis of the "subject matters" of the ECIs that have been refused registration by the Commission.
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.
The two-week cycle of Commission nominee hearings closed on the 7th October with the hearing of Vice-President of the Commission Frans Timmermans. If confirmed, First Vice-President-designate Frans Timmermans will be in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, meaning that he will have authority over the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) process. He will thus have responsibility over the management of the first transnational instrument of participatory democracy worldwide. This instrument is particularly relevant to political discussion at this time, as the European Commission is due to release a report on the implementation of the ECI in April, May 2015, three years after the entry into force of the Reg. 211/2011.
Upon request of the AFCO and PETI Committees, this study identifies difficulties faced by organisers when setting up and running a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI). It analyses possible solutions and proposes recommendations to improve the ECI as an effective tool for participatory democracy in the EU. The aim is to propose measures to ensure a straightforward ECI process with less costs and burdens for EU citizens. The ultimate goal is to define concrete actions to empower EU citizens to actively participate in shaping the future of Europe.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) infographic gives an overview of the different ECIs presented, their field of interest and the country of origin.
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.
The European Citizen Action Service calls for 10 points of reform of the Reg. 211/2011
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?
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