Role of European Mobility and its Impacts in Narratives, Debates and EU Reforms (REMINDER) January 2017 - December 2019


This project explores the economic, social, institutional and policy factors that have shaped the impacts of free movement in the EU and public debates about it. The project has three goals.

  1. To 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.
  2. To 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.
  3. To evaluate the relationship between real and perceived impacts, examining the factors that drive realities and perceptions about free movement and why these debates have unfolded in different ways across the EU.

Research methods 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.

Project website:

Project twitter: @EU_REMINDER

Principal Investigator

Carlos Vargas-Silva


Will Allen
Esther Arenas-Arroyo
Scott Blinder

Osea Giuntella
Yvonni Markaki
Robert McNeil
Catia Nicodemo
Cinzia Rienzo
Martin Ruhs
Madeleine Sumption

Project manager

Chiara van Praag
Xanthe Ashburner (Maternity Cover)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 727072.


Professionals' Advisory Group

Budapest Business School
European Journalism Centre
Uppsala University
Pompeu Fabra University
International Centre for Migration Policy Development
University of Vienna
Maastricht University
Kantar Public
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
King Juan Carlos University
University of Gothenburg
Migration Policy Institute Europe

News & Media

National institutions vs EU policies?
Blog | Martin Ruhs, Joakim Palme

Are EU immigrants a fiscal plus or a minus for their host countries?
Blog | Rafael Ahlskog | 22/03/2018

New study shows Europe’s fiscal winners and losers from EU immigration
Press release | 22/03/2018



European UnionHealthLabour MarketsPoliciesPublic OpinionWelfare




The overall methodological approach is characterised by three main features:

  1. Multiple methods analysis: the project uses quantitative data to describe free movement patterns, socio-economic impacts and public representations in a systematic manner and to explore correlations between variables, while using qualitative analysis to ‘see inside’ processes of individual decision-making and to provide a more nuanced assessment of causal mechanisms that take into account the weaknesses of quantitative approaches.
  2. Strong emphasis on stakeholder knowledge and policy implications: producers and consumers of information about intra-EU mobility, including journalists, policymakers, social partners, press officers, and other practitioners with on-the-ground knowledge of the impacts of free movement play an important role in the research. The focus on institutions and policy design throughout positions the project to develop concrete policy recommendations.
  3. Interdisciplinary exchange and coordination between work packages: because of the complex interactions between the phenomena studied, close coordination is required to ensure that the WPs add up to more than the sum of their parts. WPs will build on each other not just through regular exchange of findings and interpretations among the researchers, but also by developing indicators and variables that can be transferred between the quantitative WPs.


Understanding the political conflicts around free movement in the European Union: A conceptual framework for an institutional analysis
22 May 2018 | Working paper | Martin Ruhs, Joakim Palme

Impacts and Particularities of Care Migration Directed towards Long-term Care: Zooming in on Slovakia and Romania
3 Apr 2018 | Literature Review | Martina Sekulová, Mădălina Rogoz

The Fiscal Effects of EU Migration
22 Mar 2018 | Working paper | Pär Nyman, Rafael Ahlskog

Determinants of migration flows within the EU
20 Mar 2018 | Literature review | Anina Strey, Veronika Fajth, Talitha Mortimer Dubow, Melissa Siegel

Media Effects on Attitudes toward Migration and Mobility in the EU: A Comprehensive Literature Review
31 Mar 2017 | Literature review | Christine E. Meltzer, Christian Schemer, Hajo G. Boomgaarden, Jesper Strömbäck, Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Nora Theorin, Tobias Heidenreich

Discourses on Intra-EU Mobility and Non-EU Migration in European Media Coverage: A Comprehensive Literature Review
31 Mar 2017 | Literature review | Hajo Boomgaarden, Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Tobias Heidenreich, Beatriz Herrero, Rosa Berganza, Will Allen, Peter Bajomi-Lazar