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In April 2013 the Ministers of four EU Member States-the UK, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands-wrote the Irish Presidency of the European Council on the matter of free movement of persons within the Union. The letter specifically referred to the issue of “benefit tourism” and the abuse of national welfare systems through fraud and abuse. ECAS is undertaking an independent study to elaborate on the Commission’s follow-up GHK report that argued against the Members States’ claims. ECAS will be elaborating on the GHK report and empirically evaluating the ways in which migrants stimulate national economies and have contributed to public finances through income tax and social security contributions.

Project Goals

  • Providing empirical evidence on the impact of the right to free movement of individuals in the EU.
  • Reporting and identifying whether there is a systemic problem with the rules of free movement in place and defining areas for reform in line with existing EU rules.
  • Strengthening the role played by civil society in advocating for a constructive approach to issues associated with migrants in Europe.
  • Preventing the targeting and marginalization of vulnerable migrant groups such as: women, children, trafficked individuals, and seasonal migrants.
  • Preventing the implementation of further restrictions on the free movement of migrants by individual Member States.

What we do?

  • EU Rights Clinic will provide an independent forum for presenting and discussing the research finding through a Brussels-based round table for stakeholders, institutions, governments, media and civil society.
  • Events will be hosted in partner countries (Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK)
  • The Report findings will be communicated at the Council to the Presidencies of the Council of the EU in 2014.
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