On May 18th 2016 I had the pleasure to take part as a speaker to the international conference “The implications of EU policies for the integration of Immigrants and mobile citizens” (16 – 18 May 2016) held at SNSPA headquarters.The conference was organized by the Romanian Association of International Relations and European Studies and the Centre for European Studies on Human Migrations from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA).
Background of the Conference
The Conference intended to raise awareness upon the subject of immigrants and mobile citizens’ integration and upon the need of developing a more efficient strategy in order to create real premises for their social and economic integration.
Because of the right to free movement within the EU, we are witnessing an intense internal migration flow, causing a number of challenges at multiple levels: EU, country of residence and country of origin. On the other hand, in the European Union, we cannot speak any more about migrants, but of mobile citizens. Their rights are considered near-equivalent to those that are native citizens (Collet, 2013, p.1), but they also face difficulties when it comes to integration and they have different needs in this regard. After moving in another EU country, the mobile citizens will have to adapt to new institutions, languages and social norms.
Citizens of the EU and their family members have the right to move and reside freely within the EU, but only under certain conditions. These conditions are specified in a Directive of the European Commission from 2004 (Anderson et al, 2014, p. 5) and in Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. EU nationals have the right work and reside without any restrictions on the territory of another Member State and just by possessing a valid identity card or passport for up to three months. After this period, the EU nationals are required to prove the fact that they respect certain conditions when it comes to their status as workers, students and other, in order to continue staying in the host Member State. And if they wish to remain permanently, they have to have been legally residing in the receiving Member State for more than five years, without significantly interruptions.
Even though EU nationals benefit from these rights, they face difficulties in exercising them, due to the fact that they have similar integration problems as third-countries nationals. These difficulties result from differences in terms of language, social norms, practices and other. All of this and the fact that they cannot be subject to regular immigration policies and programs give birth to a paradoxical situation.
Even though EU mobile citizens share almost the same rights as the native citizens in the receiving country, they still have certain needs when it comes to their socio-economic integration. First of all, they need in most cases language training, because without knowing the language of the host country, their chances of successful integration are lower. Moreover, they also need guidance regarding the norms and regulations that differ in the host country. And the list doesn’t stop here.
Specific topics included, but were not confined to:
- determinants, patterns, and consequences of mobility phenomenon;
- implications of social policies towards the integration of EU mobile citizens;
- evaluation of policies that address the integration of EU mobile citizens;
- labor market impact;
- long-term effects and path dependencies;
- policy reactions and impact on the political evolutions;
- multiculturalism and inter-culturalism;
- European citizenship and European culture;
- transformation of values and attitudes;
- the security dimension of the mobility phenomenon;
- return migration;
- integration policies and examples of good practices;
- demographic and economic aspects of human mobility.
Topic of my intervention
I had the pleasure to intervene in the 3rd Panel –“The Security Dimension of Mobility within the EU” with a topic under the general framework of Migration, borders control and solidarity: Schengen at stake?
I spoke about the general context of the refugee crisis and its implications on the Schengen Area. The re-introduction of the border controls have generated a series of supplementary economic costs which have a negative effect on the Member States economy. Moreover we are currently assisting to a raise of the populist movements across Europe.
The full extent of my presentation would be available here soon
The Facebook page of the conference is available online here.
The link to the event page is available online here.
To learn more about the Impact of mobile EU citizens on national social security systems (2013).
To learn more about The integration needs of mobile EU citizens by Elizabeth Collett (2013).
In the end I would like once more to thank for the organizers for their dedication and support and to congratulate all the participants for their high standard interventions.