Panel ‘EU citizenship and free movement: beyond the progressive’s dilemma?’

The ‘progressive’s dilemma’ suggests a trade-off between substantive welfare and rights regimes and permissive immigration regimes, with the former leading to tougher immigration regimes and the latter leading to an erosion of social and welfare rights. This trade-off appears not to exist within the EU citizenship regime: EU citizens — as nationals of EU member states (or EEA states) — are able to move freely within a permissive regime while enjoying rights and protections comparable to nationals of the host state. In short, free movement and substantive rights (interpreted broadly as state social models) are exceptionally combined.  However, the exceptionality of EU citizenship can be challenged in a number of ways. First, the principle of non-discrimination between nationals and EU non-nationals is far from absolute; certain EU citizens — particularly those with limited links to the labour market — are unable to access rights in host member states and the recent interpretation of EU law by the European Court of Justice has arguably offered up greater opportunities for host states to discriminate between nationals and EU non-nationals. Second, EU citizenship, while distinct in some respects from inter-national regimes, may be similar to intra-national federal regimes (such as in the US) of multi-level citizenship where mobility and access to rights is possible, though delimited in some ways. Third, to the extent that EU citizenship does combine rights and mobility in an exceptional way it has become controversial and highly politicised within a number of EU member states in recent years (most notably of course, though not exceptionally, in the UK); for some, such politicisation and related attempts by states to delimit the rights of EU non-nationals is indicative of the enduring reality of the progressive’s dilemma.

We would welcome papers that consider any of the above or related themes.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 200 words to Owen Parker ( by 31ST JANUARY 2017 (accepted paper givers will be notified by 3rd February).

For more information on the conference: