Dispelling the Myth of Benefits Tourism in the EU
The project was funded by EPIM and sought to address certain Member States’ (MS) attempts to undermine the free movement of persons.(1) ECAS addressed the issue by undertaking independent research to produce a report with empirical evidence of the impact of EU free movement on welfare benefit systems in the UK, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. The report discussed whether there is a systemic problem with the rules of free movement in place. An awareness-raising and advocacy campaign shed light on the findings and we continue to use this information to encourage MEPs to take an active stand on the issue.
(1) In April 2013, the Ministers of four EU Member States – the UK, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands – wrote to the Irish Presidency of the European Council on the matter of free movement of persons within the Union: http://docs.dpaq.de/3604-130415_letter_to_presidency_final_1_2.pdf
January – November 2014
- Coordinated the on-the-ground research to gather statistical information in order to prove or disprove the “benefits tourism” theory.
- Guided the development of a detailed report seeking to firmly but objectively rebut the assumption that EU free movement facilitates rampant “benefits tourism” by using different measures of comparison.
- Set up an advocacy coalition with partners in the four Member States (Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK), the members of the European Network of Rights Advice Centres (ENRAC) in other Member States and other stakeholders to carry out a concerted advocacy campaign before the national and EU institutions as well as outreach to the media.
- Organised a high level public event with the participation of EU level decision-makers and civil society to raise the visibility of the issue and discuss the report’s findings.
- Conference: Free Movement in the EU Today: Challenges and Opportunities
- Publication: Fiscal impact of EU migrants in four member-states, Latchezar Bogdanov
- Campaign: Seven Strategies to Improve Free Movement, Anthony Valcke
- Campaign: Right to Move
- Press-release: EU citizens living in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK contribute more than they receive from their host country
- Press-release: Members of The European Parliament Support the Creation of a Task Force to Monitor Free Movement in the EU