The freedom to move and reside freely within the EU allows every European citizen to live and work in another Member State. This right has been increasingly used during the financial crisis by young Europeans who migrated to seek work and life opportunities in countries that offer better prospects. While EU citizens value highly the freedom of movement, the reality looks more complicated: several barriers occur before, during or after moving and problems are reported in relation to legislation, administrative procedures but also stereotypes and discriminatory practices.

The objective of the project “The reality of free movement for young European citizens migrating in times of crisis” is to look into the reality of free movement from the viewpoint of young Europeans (age 25-35) who exercise or plan to exercise this right and:

  • Identify real and perceived obstacles and barriers that they face;
  • Identify practices that promote or hinder the enjoyment of this right;
  • Raise awareness within young people on their rights and within national and EU bodies on barriers and ways to address them;
  • Propose solutions (legislative and non-legislative) for making the right to free movement effective.

15 EU Member States that have experienced increased outgoing migration (Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania) or incoming migration (Germany, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, UK, France, Italy) in the last 4 years will be studied with a mixed-method approach that combines: a) empirical field research through structured interviews with young people and national authorities in the participating countries b) data collection and targeted legal research in all partner countries; c) socio-legal analysis of the data collected and d) comparative analysis of the findings.

The project is expected to:

  • Improve the knowledge and awareness of national and EU authorities on barriers to free movement faced by young people;
  • Increase the awareness of young EU citizens on the possibilities for free movement;
  • Propose evidence-based solutions for eliminating barriers to free movement at national and european levels and collect and disseminate good practices.

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