Understanding freedom of movement in the EU
Free movement of persons is a fundamental principle of the European Union, but intra-EU transit comes with economic, social and political challenges. The EU-funded REMINDER project is investigating public opinion and the impact of free movement - helping to inform EU policy.
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The EU supports the free movement of persons among its Member States through policy frameworks and mutual recognition of qualifications, among other initiatives. But difficult political environments caused by rising support for Eurosceptic parties and public concern about the delivery of public services all question the free movement policy.
The aim of the EU-funded REMINDER project is to understand the economic, social, institutional and policy factors that shape freedom of movement and the public debate around it. It is being carried out by a consortium of researchers who are focusing on three main areas.
The first is the nature and impact of intra-EU mobility. The project is assessing the drivers of intra-EU mobility and how it affects the economy and labour markets in specific countries. It is examining how Member States institutional and policy environments affect the movement of people and investigating the impact of this movement on public services and welfare systems.
The second research area concerns the political and media narratives around free movement. REMINDER is looking at what factors drive peoples views of this, including political communication and traditional and social media. The third area is assessing the relationship between the real and perceived impacts of these messages. The project will examine the differences in communication around intra-EU mobility across different Member States.
The researchers are combining their expertise in a variety of fields, including development, economics, linguistics, media studies, political science and public policy. They will implement a multi-disciplinary research strategy and use a variety of research methods based on machine learning, panels, surveys and theoretical and empirical analysis.
The project comprises 12 work packages which include the management and coordination of findings, mapping the patterns and dynamics of migration, identifying the determinants of migration, fiscal impacts, the labour market, countries of origin, politics and institutions, public opinion surveys, drivers of opinion, cost sharing and media practices and policies.
REMINDER will then assess policy options to address both the real and perceived pressures on free movement, in order to develop concrete options for reforms. Findings will be communicated to policymakers, media practitioners and influential stakeholders across Europe.