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Changes and Challenges of Cross-border Mobility within the European Union

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Edited By Trine Lund Thomsen

This book presents the results of the MIDA-project – the impact of labour migra-tion from the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to the Danish labour market. In addition, it includes chapters that focus on labour mobility in other EU countries. The project stems from collaboration between researchers from the former CoMID (the Research Center for the Study of Migration and Diversity) at Aalborg University and the Department of Occupational Medicine at the Regional Hospital West Jutland.
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Chapter 1 EU Mobility under Pressure in an Increasingly Closed Europe (Trine Lund Thomsen)

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Trine Lund Thomsen

Chapter 1 EU Mobility under Pressure in an Increasingly Closed Europe

Introduction

Since the beginning of the 1990s, restrictions on freedom of movement and choice of residence of EU citizens have been progressively lifted. The Bologna Process was implemented in 1999 in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) as a means to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe. A few years later, the Directive 2004/38/EC introduced new and more liberal rules for movement across borders for work and taking up residence in another EU country. Many obstacles to mobility have thus been abolished or reduced since the establishment of the principle of the free movement of citizens for the purpose of work or study. The legal developments, which have promoted the right to free movement, have affected the lives of European citizens in one way or another, empowering them to cross national borders, to benefit from equal treatment and to have the opportunity to live abroad. Access to welfare benefits in host countries was also made easier, although it continued to be tied to certain requirements (Ochel 2007; Sinn 2005). However, due to the economic crisis causing anti-EU sentiment and increased nationalism, what has been understood by some as progress towards a more integrated trans-EU system has for others fuelled the debate about rights and access to welfare service and benefits. The principle of free mobility can thus lead to strengthened European integration as well...

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