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Title:Freedom of movement: Unequal intra-European Union migration due to economic and linguistic barriers
Author(s):Zalewski, Nicholas
Contributor(s):Gille, Zsuzsa; Henry, Lucas
Department / Program:Liberal Arts & Sciences
Discipline:European Union Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Economic Convergence
Romania: Economic Deterrents
Linguistic Barriers
European Union
Intra-EU Migration
Abstract:Freedom of movement is hailed as an accomplishment of the European Union, but it also hinders EU member states that experience significantly higher levels of emigration than immigration. While the European Union likes to believe that EU citizens can move to any member state, this is difficult without the necessary language skills to work and live in another European nation. An important question is how do language skills as opposed to economic deterrents impact EU migration to Southern and Eastern European member states? Part of the issue is that the European Union has twenty-four official languages, and citizens may choose to study only a couple of these languages to learn as it is unrealistic to learn every official language. English, German, and French are the top three spoken languages in the EU, along with being the three most studied foreign languages. These are also the official working languages in European Union Institutions. These languages also appear to be preferred due to the higher level of economic development of Northern EU member states. I have chosen Italy and Romania as case studies for this thesis. These two countries have the lowest percentage of college graduates in the EU and would benefit if these two member states were able to attract more highly educated EU migrants. With these countries, I hope to examine why these two member states are often overlooked by EU citizens looking for another member state to live and work in. I also felt it is important to look at a country from Eastern Europe and a country from Southern Europe to look at the similarities and differences in the challenges these member states face. Despite Italy’s and Romania’s large populations, Italian and Romanian are not popular foreign languages for citizens of other member states to study. The citizens of Romania and Italy are also less likely to know English as well as citizens in other member states. This makes it difficult to attract migrants from other EU member states. In addition, these countries are lower than the median European Union economic performance.
Issue Date:2021-04-29
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Nicholas Zalewski
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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