Emigration and the State. The impact of worker and person mobility on countries of origin in the EU and beyond

International Conference at Europa-Universität Flensburg, 7-9 February 2024

Funded by the German Research Council as part of the project ‘Paradoxes of Freedom of Movement of Persons: Preference formation in favour or against EU integration?’ (2021-2024)

This conference is interested in institutional and political responses to emigration at the level of state and society, collective and corporate actors, political and social systems. The three-day conference at Europa-University Flensburg from 7-9 February 2024 aims at a systematic understanding of the ‘emigration state’. It will bring together latest empirical research by scholars working on the EU, migration, and political economy to develop three distinct analytical-theoretical avenues to understand the effects of emigration on the state:

1) Freedom of movement of persons and EU migration: How do the liberal tenets of the freedom of movement of persons undermine or transform notions of community, state, and nation in and beyond the EU?

2) Politicization of emigration: Is there a link between emigration (rates and/or attitudes) and patterns of electoral participation?

3) Emigration, the welfare state, and the economy: How do governments manage and recalibrate benefits and labour markets in light of a shrinking resource base?

The conference is convened by Christof Roos (Europa-Universität Flensburg), Anna Kyriazi (University of Milan), and Martin Seeliger (Bremen University, Institut für Arbeit und Wirtschaft).

The conference will take place in hybridformat:


Outline of conference

Emigration and the state. The impact of worker mobility on countries of origin in the EU and beyond

February 7-9, 2024

Day 1


15:00 – 15:30

Registration and Coffee

15:30 - 17:00

Panel I: Freedom of movement of persons and EU emigration

Chair and Discussant: Ettore Recchi (Sciences Po, Paris)

The end of freedom of movement in Europe? Assessing the effects and future of a borderless Europe from the Cold war to Covid

Adrian Favell (University of Cork)

Disembedding citizenship in the EU: Internal migration and its externalities

Christof Roos (Europa-Universität Flensburg) and Susanne K. Schmidt (Universität Bremen)

What happens when the free movement of persons comes to an end? Brexit as a learning experience of the paradoxes of free movement and its control

Russell King (University of Sussex)

17:30 – 19:00

Keynote: Concepts and approaches deployed to understanding emigrant states and sending countries

Eva Østergaard-Nielsen (Universidad Pompeu-Fabra)


Reception at University Campus

Day 2

9:00 – 10:45

Panel II: Political cleavages and emigration

Chair and Discussant: Emanuel Deutschmann (Europa-Universität Flensburg)

The Impact of Emigration on Anti-Establishment voting in Europe

Maik Herold, Mariana S. Mendes, Cyrill Otteni (MIDEM – TU Dresden)

Exit and/ vote: the politicization of emigrant voting in Bulgaria as an emigration state

Julia Rone (University of Cambridge)

Political trust and attitudes towards emigration across the EU

Franceso Visconti (University of Milan)

10:45 – 11:15

Coffee Break

11:15 – 13:00

Panel III: Emigration and the welfare state

Chair and Discussant: Lucia Kureková (Slovak Academy of Sciences)

Return migration in the EU: trajectories and national policy responses

Dominic Afscharian (University of Tübingen), Cecilia Bruzelius (University of Copenhagen) and Lea Reiss (University of Tübingen)

The local governance of emigration: a case study in Romania

Magdalena Ulceluse (Malmo University)

The emigration of doctors from Albania: a medical brain drain from a peripheral European country

Ilir Gëdeshi (Center for Economic and Social Studies, Tirana) and Russell King (Sussex University)

13:00 – 14:30

Lunch Break

14:30 – 16:15

Panel IV: Emigration and the economy

Chair and Discussant: Ulrich Glassmann (Europa-Universität Flensburg)

Free movement in crisis: the regressive transfer mechanism of economic migration

Anna Kyriazi (University of Milan) and Waltraud Schelkle (EUI)

Specific visions or muddling through: Diverse migration strategies to sustain growth models in Poland and Portugal

Maximilian Nagel (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Martin Seeliger (Universität Bremen)

16:30 – 17:00

Wrap up day 2


Conference dinner at Lauschig Lokal

Day 3

9:00 - 10:30

Panel V: Diaspora relations beyond return and remittances

Chair and Discussant: Christine Barwick-Gross (Europa-Universität Flensburg)

Challenging territorial limitation: A case for the EU coordination of diaspora and emigration policies from a geopolitical perspective

Luicy Pedroza (Colegio de Mexico) and Pau Palop-Garcìa (DEZIM, Humboldt Universität Berlin)

Resisting transnationalism after joining the EU: Ban of a dual and preference for a single political citizenship by the Lithuanian state

Mindaugas Kuklys (Europa Universität Flensburg)

10:30 – 11:00

Wrap up conference, publication, departure



Lucia Kureková

Christine Barwick-Gross

Emmanuel Deutschmann

Martin Seeliger

Anna Kyriazi

Christof Roos

Ettore Recchi

Add: Dorothee Biaback Anong, Zoé Perko, Anna Görg