On Tuesday 20 June 2017, as part of its activities for the Greek Diaspora Project, SEESOX hosted the workshop ‘Exploring intra-EU mobilities at times of Crisis’. The workshop, an outcome of the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie project EUMIGRE, helped contextualise the recent surge of emigration from Greece within the broader map of European migrations at times of crisis.
At the dawn of the 21st century, intra-EU mobility emerges as an increasingly complex and ambivalent phenomenon. On the one hand, EU-wide opinion polls depict freedom of movement as “the most positive result of” European integration. On the other, with migration having become a hot issue, the freedom of movement within EU is increasingly becoming questioned. This process, which is part and parcel of a shift from the on-going politicisation of migration in specific European national contexts to debating migration across the EU as a whole, started the with EU enlargements eastwards and the Eurozone crisis and escalated with the refugee “crisis” and the recent vote of Britons to exit the Union.
The workshop brought together prominent scholars of intra-EU migration aiming to shift attention from the master narratives about intra-EU mobility to the lived experience of key actors, the mobile citizens. The paper presentations keynotes and roundtable discussions brought to the fore the lessons that can be drawn by those who may be ‘pioneers of European integration’, in that they promote it in practice from below, yet they are at the same time a product of its present-day shortcomings.