The overarching goal of the project is to understand the economic, social, institutional and policy factors that have shaped the impacts of free movement and public debates about it. It aims to help European policymakers develop policy responses that inspire public trust, ensure the fairness and sustainability of free movement, and maintain inclusive policies that reduce inequalities across the continent.
First, the project will generate a deeper understanding of the nature and impacts of intra-EU mobility, focusing in particular on how countries’ institutional and policy environments shape the impacts of free movement on individuals, households, labour markets, public services and public finances. Second, it will assess how political and media narratives about intra-EU mobility are formed, focusing on the role of traditional and social media, political discourse, and influential participants in public debates. Third, it will assess the relationship between real and perceived impacts, examining the factors that drive realities and misperceptions about free movement and why these debates have unfolded in different ways across the EU.
A consortium of researchers with deep understanding of policies and institutions across Europe will implement a multi-disciplinary research strategy. Cutting-edge research methods will range from content analysis based on machine-learning techniques to multi-wave panel and survey experiments to theoretical and empirical analysis of the role of institutions and norms in shaping free movement and public debates about it. The project combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, carefully integrating work packages to allow data and results to flow seamlessly between them. Policy specialists will develop concrete options for reforms.
An experienced communications team will work with consortium members to develop accessible resources, ensuring wide reach to policymakers, media practitioners and influential stakeholders across Europe.
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