Intra-EU mobility: demographic and social consequences for sending and receiving countries

Klára Fóti, Eurofound

Intra-EU mobility: demographic and social consequences for sending and receiving countries (Abstract) In the Europe 2020 Strategy, intra-EU mobility is described as a means to create modern labour markets and raise employment levels. The European Commission commits itself to facilitate and promote intra-EU labour mobility in order to better match labour supply with demand. Meanwhile, there is a heated debate on the consequences in both the sending and the receiving countries. As regards the former group, concerns over increased outflow have been raised due to implications also from demographic perspectives. Population of the sending countries is ageing; the recent economic crisis affected their economies, with serious social consequences. The key question is how their governments are trying to cope with those challenges posed by increased outflow of their citizens. In the receiving countries the debate on the consequences centres on the “welfare magnet hypothesis”, saying that mobile EU citizens from the Central and East-European Member States (EU8 and EU2) are attracted by higher level of services. As a consequence, migrants are said to put additional pressure on social services. The objective of the research project launched by Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, an EU agency) is to analyse these questions from a comparative, cross-country perspective. The empirical part of the project, entitled “The social dimension of intra-EU mobility: Impact on public services” is due to start in January 2014. Among other issues, the characteristics and profile of the EU8 + EU2 citizen will be investigated in most of the main receiving countries (this time the data are to be mainly based on administrative registers and the censuses). Although the project is planned to finish during the second half of 2014, the aim of the paper is to present preliminary findings of this research.

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Presented in Session 47: International migration and migrant populations