Monday, 15.06.2015

Making Free Movement Work

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London, Oxford University and the European Commission in the UK hosted a half-day conference in London to discuss conditions, challenges and solutions of freedom of movement and its associated welfare rights within the European Union in different aspects.

Social rights and concepts of EU citizenship were addressed in a comparative perspective and a legal assessment of the welfare rights of EU migrant citizens was provided. Research and the experiences of practitioners clearly show that EU citizens use their right of free movement to look for work rather than claiming benefits. Presented data illustrated that the UK is not the most generous welfare regime for EU migrant citizens. It was discussed whether strengthening state capacities would help to ease some of the challenges that occur on local levels.

Local initiatives from Oxfordshire, Manchester and Stockholm working with vulnerable EU migrants, presented their work and similarities and differences were discussed. Free movement was also looked at from the perspective of workers’ rights and the trade unions’ work in this area. Representatives from German and British trade unions illustrated how they lobby for better working conditions for all workers across Europe and how they specifically advice migrant workers coming to their respective country to prevent exploitati

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