“On the Move” is a two year project which was initiated as a reaction to the fact that, while EU citizens consider the freedom of mobility as the second most important achievement of the EU and provisions to enable free movement have been in place for decades, the reality is more complicated and mobile citizens report a wide range of problems when exercising this right. Several barriers occur before, during or after moving and problems are reported in relation to legislation, administrative procedures but also stereotypes and discriminatory practices.

This project addresses the reality of free movement from the viewpoint of young European citizens who exercise this right. It aims to deepen the knowledge and understanding of the barriers that occur when young people exercise this right, whether ‘real’ or ‘perceived’, legal, administrative or social in nature, it attempts to identify their root causes and propose solutions to make free movement an accessible reality.

In specific, the project aims:
a) to identify real and perceived obstacles and barriers that young people face when exercising their right to free movement
b) to identify practices that promote or hinder this right
c) to raise awareness among young people on their rights and among national and EU bodies on identified barriers
d) to propose legislative and non-legislative solutions for making the right to free movement effective

The project uses an innovative mixed-method approach that combines legal and empirical methods to help understand European legislation through the eyes of its subjects and combines distinct levels of analysis: individual, national, cross-national and European.

It involves extensive legal and empirical research in 15 EU Member States that have experienced increased outgoing or incoming migration in the last 4 years, thus covering both sending and recipient countries and also offers capacity building for both EU officials and young people across Europe.

The research targets young people, between 25 and 35 years old, who have either exercised their right to free movement or wish to do so, in order to identify the real or perceived barriers they experienced. The experiences of young people will feed into different levels of analysis: individual perspectives will emanate through personal experiences, barriers at national level will be identified through the cumulative experiences as depicted in the national reports, cross national level analysis will stem from the comparison of country reports in pairs of countries according to identified migration patterns and European level analysis will be depicted in a comparative report involving all partner countries.

The project is implemented by a consortium of 15 partners and addresses 3 main target groups, namely Young citizens across Europe; Local, regional and national authorities competent on free movement and EU Institutions.


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