Young Europeans on the move

Empirical research in the 15 EU member states that participate in the ON THE MOVE project has been concluded. You can access the research results per country here.

Desktop research and legislation analysis presented the migration patterns and current challenges for young people and the authorities competent on free movement, based on legislation, statistics and academic literature.

ON THE MOVE involved large scale qualitative field research. This involved 567 young people in 15 countries, aged between 25 and 35 – and representatives of 67 relevant authorities.

The field research aimed to indicate the main drivers and barriers of free movement according to the experience of young people, aged 25 to 35, who:

  1. moved to another EU MS from their home country and remain abroad
  2. wish to move or are preparing to move to another EU MS and
  3. have moved and have returned to their country of origin

The 15 participating member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the UK.

Based on the analysis of the intra-EU free movement trends, member states were organized in three groups:

  1. Receiving countries, with a clear inward movement trend
  2. Sending countries, with a clear outward movement trend and
  3. Mixed countries, where outward and inward movement is relatively balanced


The findings of desktop research, legislation analysis and field research have been compiled in 15 national reports. Drivers and barriers are summarized below and the full analysis can be found in the individual reports.


Drivers and barriers from moving from sending countries

The main sending countries were Greece, Portugal, Poland, Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania (sending countries) and also Cyprus, Spain, Austria and Italy (mixed countries)

UK, Germany, France and Spain are the most common destinations for citizens from sending countries

Reasons for returning to their home countries – homesickness, lack of adaptation to foreign realities, financial crisis bringing about secondary migration

Reasons for staying on in sending countries – personal factors, lower costs of living, relations with local communities



Drivers and barriers from moving to receiving countries

The main receiving countries were Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and the UK (receiving countries) and also Cyprus, Spain, Austria and Italy (mixed countries)