Special Issue edited by Susanne K. Schmidt, Michael Blauberger and Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen
The European Union’s fundamental principles of free movement of persons and non-discrimination challenge the traditional closure of the welfare state. Whereas this appeared largely unproblematic before Eastern enlargement, the increased heterogeneity in economic development and welfare provision among EU Member States has spurred fears about potential welfare migration and claims of so-called ‘social tourism’.
A recently published special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy, edited by Susanne K. Schmidt, Michael Blauberger and Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen of the TransJudFare project, addresses this increasingly salient subject. The special issue brings together a collection of articles by TransJudFare researchers as well as other experts to explore the current dynamics, scope and limits of free movement and equal treatment for EU citizens on the move.
More specifically, the contributions are covering three issues: One part is discussing the normative and legal basis of EU citizenship, free movement and cross-border access to social benefits. Another part takes a closer look at the politicised discussion of welfare migration in the media and its impact on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice. A final part examines the theoretical and empirical nexus between European free movement and its reconciliation with the welfare state’s need for closure.
By analysing free movement and equal treatment from multiple perspectives, this special issue adds to several core debates in current EU studies. This includes the (im)balance between liberal market freedoms and social protection; the relative power of judicial and political decision-making in the EU; the gap between abstract EU legal principles and Member State implementation on the ground; and, lastly, the differences between actual problem pressure and patterns of politicisation. The individual contributions raise the level of debates by presenting and moving beyond the state of the art in their respective fields.