A key aspect of the European integration process is the right to free movement. Such a right is actually seen by both citizens and policy-makers as the core element embodying the notion of EU citizenship. ‘EU movers’, notably mobile EU citizens who have exercised their free movement rights and settled in a Member State different from the one in which they were born or raised, represent between 2% and 3% of the total population residing in the EU27. Their numbers have increased since 2004 and especially since 2007, when the Central Eastern European countries joined
the EU. Such recent intra-EU mobility has been primarily economically motivated: EU citizens from the new Member States look for better job opportunities and life prospects. However, mobility has been a feature of
European integration from early-on: people have moved from their Member State of origin to another Member State to pursue job or study opportunities, for family reasons (marriage for instance) or simply for better quality of life
(looking for warmer climates and a slower pace of life) since the introduction of free movement rights.
MOVEACT Policy Paper: ‘All citizens now’