Globalisation, EU Enlargement and the Challenge of the Financial Crisis: East-West Migration and the Search for EU Solidarities
REMESO Institute Linköping University Norrköping, Sweden
The paper addresses the challenges brought about by the recent waves of EU enlargement coupled with EU:s commitment to global competitiveness, Single Market and global approach to migration management. Contrary to the market optimists´ expectations concerning the positive migration effects of EU enlargement for both the old and the new member states, we have seen the realities of deindustrialization, East-West migration pressures, related informalization/precarization of employment and downward pressure on national welfare states. Furthermore, the migration pressures created by the latest wave of enlargement towards Romania and Bulgaria in the context of the global financial crisis and economic contraction of several sectors that depend on cheap informal migrant labour have led to mainstreaming of rising anti-immigrant and racist populism, but also to trade unions´ grievances and nationalism. In conjunction to these processes the paper charts EU strategies for the configuration of a transnational social space and discusses the contingencies for institutional rebalancing in terms of a right-based mobility/migration regime, EU social model and "decent work agenda" across both new and old member states and candidate countries.