Welcome to the project Paradoxes of EU Free Movement of Persons. Preference Formation Processes for and against European Integration

Research on the effects of EU freedom of movement of persons in EU countries of origin is scarce. Effects of emigration such as decreasing unemployment on local labour markets or an increase in remittances are more and more debated in relation to the socio-political outcomes of citizens leaving Eastern and Southern Europe. Since the 2010s, member states and the EU level address the brain-drain from EU countries of origin and the unequal conditions for the competition for labour in the EU’s single market. The research project aims to find out whether and how the free movement of persons and its effects in Southern and Eastern European societies promotes support for EU integration, EU skepticism, or an agenda for reform. Collective actors and their perception of effects are key to answering this question empirically. Thereby, the project tests a key assumption formulated in EU integration theory – the positive relation between free movement of persons and European integration. The expected findings of the research may nuance this assumption and identify possible paradoxes in how the EU principle of freedom of movement impacts EU integration.

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