Mobile Europe. The Theory and Practice of Free Movement in the EU

A just published book “Mobile Europe” written by Ettore Recchi, Professor of Sociology at OSC, presents analyses* about its main research interests: mobilities and European integration. They may help to reboot European integration. 

Once upon a time, Europeans migrated – now, they move.
Visas, passports, and a plethora of other authorizations are long gone for people willing to cross borders within the EU. European integration has paved the way to a supranational area in which the power of the state to control individuals’ choices of travel and settlement has been curbed, creating a sort of natural experiment of a borderless world region. The EU has thus established the market-embedded political infrastructure of a unique ‘human mobility system’ – the European free movement regime. By virtue of it, EU citizens enjoy a unique right to freely move across 28 different sovereign countries. In spite of the proliferation of international agreements and alliances in different regions of the globe, nothing as such exists elsewhere. The individual freedom of cross-border mobility distinguishes the EU from other merely neo-liberal international integration projects like NAFTA. Historically, this is a most unusual and forward-looking achievement that is today overlooked at a time of widespread pessimism on the future of the EU. 

"Mobile Europe" first outlines the historical premises and the political-economic rationales of this regime, and then delves into its effects on individuals’ lives. Demographically, free movement has gained ground over time, especially with the EU enlargements of the 2000s. In part, EU movers supplant third country nationals as a reservoir of migrant workforce. However, there is more to it. Free movement underpins a huge diversity of mobility projects which do not fit traditional migration patterns. It also works as a political umbrella to the broadening ‘social appetite’ for spatial mobility. All over the world, the number of people crossing nation-state frontiers – whatever the reason, from labour migration to all sorts of tourism – has exponentially increased in the last decades. A major socio-political puzzle is how this expansion of international mobility experiences feeds back on citizenship practices and sense of belonging. On the basis of original data collected since the early 2000s, the author concludes that intra-EU movements do nurture an enhanced cosmopolitan sensitivity but, in fact, are not sufficient by themselves to generate a critical mass of EU-oriented political participation. Nonetheless, EU movers form a potentially strategic population in view of the re-booting of European integration inspired more by a common political vision than market-driven dynamics.

* The exploited data have mainly been elaborated in the framework of three international research projects on mobility in Europe funded by the European Commission : Pioneur, Moveact, Eucross.

Additional resources

Final Report Summary of EUCROSS - The Europeanisation of Everyday Life: Cross-Border Practices and Transnational Identities among EU and Third-Country Citizens

"Globalised Minds, Roots in the City: Urban Upper-middle Classes in Europe" by Alberta Andreotti, Patrick Le Galès, Francisco Javier Moreno-Fuentes, January 2015, Wiley-Blackwell

More

About the book
About Ettore Recchi
About the Observatory of social changes

Tommaso Vitale Appointed Dean of the Urban School

Tommaso Vitale Appointed Dean of the Urban School

Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po, has appointed Tommaso Vitale as Dean of the Urban School. Mr. Vitale succeeds Patrick Le Galès, and will take up his new position as Dean of the Urban School in September, after a transition period commencing on June 1. His appointment follows deliberations by a search committee composed of members from within and outside Sciences Po, set up in early March to select the best-suited candidate for the role of Dean of the Urban School.

More
Ethan Zuckerman at Sciences Po: “We need to imagine a better Internet”

Ethan Zuckerman at Sciences Po: “We need to imagine a better Internet”

Despite the internet’s many benefits, there is a widespread consensus that today’s tech structure and social media is harmful in multiple ways for individuals and society. What should be the future of social media? On May 10, 2022, Ethan Zuckerman, Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts, and Director of the UMass Institute for Digital Public Infrastructure, discussed this question alongside President of ARTE Bruno Patino and Sciences Po Associate Professor of Economics Julia Cagé. A conference organized by the McCourt Institute in partnership with Sciences Po’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

More
Congratulations to the graduates of the 10th cohort of the Sciences Po - Columbia Dual BA!

Congratulations to the graduates of the 10th cohort of the Sciences Po - Columbia Dual BA!

The 10th graduation ceremony of the Dual BA Programme between Sciences Po and Columbia University took place in New York on Monday 16 May 2022. This year, 69 students will receive both their Sciences Po and Columbia Bachelor's degrees during a ceremony marked by emotion and the inspiring words of those who make it all happen. Also present were students from the classes of 2020 and 2021 whose ceremonies had been cancelled due to the pandemic.

More
CIVICA: focus on Joint Courses

CIVICA: focus on Joint Courses

On 29 April 2022, students from the joint course “Welfare States in Transition” taught by Bruno Palier of Sciences Po and Anke Hassel of the Hertie School were finally able to meet one another in person at Sciences Po. A debrief on this novel pedagogical experience with Frank Stadelmaier (CIVICA Senior Manager) and Carly Hafner (CIVICA Project Manager, Department of Studies and Partnerships).

More
A powerful exchange between Volodymyr Zelensky and the students of France

A powerful exchange between Volodymyr Zelensky and the students of France

In front of packed lecture halls adorned with blue and yellow flags, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky conversed for more than an hour on Wednesday 11 May 2022 with several hundred students from Sciences Po, the Institut National du Service Public, Ecole Polytechnique, Inalco, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Université de Paris II Panthéon Assas, the IEP of Lille, Sorbonne University, Université de Haute-Alsace, the Ecole du Louvre, Université de Lyon and Sorbonne Paris Nord. All over France, dozens of auditoriums were opened, and tens of thousands of people were able to follow, in person or online, this unprecedented exchange.

More
Insights on the War in Ukraine: Sciences Po's Response

Insights on the War in Ukraine: Sciences Po's Response

Over the course of the last few days, all eyes have been turned towards Ukraine and the war being waged on the orders of Vladimir Putin. Aggression on this scale, in direct violation of international law, and the unbridled disregard for the value of human life that have been witnessed over the past few days has left many feeling at a loss, unsure of how to process the events that are unfolding on the global stage.

More
Meet Farrah Trari, Recipient of the Marion Bruley Scholarship

Meet Farrah Trari, Recipient of the Marion Bruley Scholarship

Sciences Po students doing an internship in the United States have the possibility, subject to resources, to apply for the Marion Bruley Mobility Grant, financed by the Sciences Po American Foundation. This year a student from the School of Public Affairs, Farrah Trari, was chosen as the recipient of this scholarship and is currently doing an internship in New York. 

More