European Union and Free Movement of Labour - Essay Example

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European Union and Free Movement of Labour

However, in wider political terms, the tolerance of the principle of free labour movement is an important signal of a willingness to treat the citizens of one EU member state as welcome within any other' (Wallace 2004: 3).
In the last couple of decades, EU labour migration policies have been largely aimed at preventing labour migration from outside while encouraging labour mobility inside. The eastern enlargement of the EU presents a case whereby, according to the logic of enlargement, nationals coming from the accession states would be treated more like members and would be allowed access to the EU labour market.
An increasing migration trend since the 1990s has been the search for temporary--as opposed to permanent--migration, especially from the CEE countries. This kind of migration does not involve residential settlement and does not pose a burden on the welfare states in Western Europe--short-term, income-seeking migrants will usually not draw any public welfare provisions they are entitled to receive (such as medical insurance, social security and unemployment benefits) from the home country. The great majority of Poles, Czechs and Hungarians who contemplate possibilities for migration think of it as a supplement to (not replacement of) their home-country earnings (Morawska 2000). ...Show more


In applying for EU membership, the ten CEE candidate states are aspiring to become members of an enlarged, pan-European area for free movement of labour. From an economic point of view, free movement of labour has been part of the project of achieving equality of opportunity within the EU by dismantling obstacles to the mobility of factors of production…
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