Date: 25th April 2017, 14.00-16.30

Venue: Residence Palace, International Press Centre (Room Maelbeek), Rue de la Loi 155, 1000 Brussels

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Full programme (in PDF) available here

See the press release for this event in English and French

Rationale: Following the economic crisis and —more recently— the Brexit referendum, the situation of EU migrants is becoming increasingly precarious in destination countries. In this changing context, characterized by populism and heightened anti-immigrant sentiments, controversies on ‘welfare shopping’ and the cost of EU migration regularly appear in Member States. Have welfare policies become a tool to restrict EU citizens’ freedom of movement? Is the EU capable of maintaining minimum social protection standards for immigrants? Or, should EU migrants find alternative solutions to protect themselves against social risks? During this conference, we will examine these questions, and more generally the transformation of migratory flows within the EU since the beginning of the economic crisis. In addition, we will discuss the changing policies of sending and receiving Member States in reaction to these new flows. To do so, the researchers from the ERC-funded “Migration, Transnationalism and Social Protection” research project (MiTSoPro) and the authors of the new volume, ‘South North Migration of EU Citizens in Times of Crisis’ (Springer, 2017) will engage in a dialogue with high-level policy-makers on the future of freedom of movement within the EU.

Organiser: Dr Jean-Michel Lafleur, Associate Director, Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (University of Liège), FRS-FNRS Research Associate- eb.ca1713379268.glu@1713379268ruelf1713379268aL.MJ1713379268



Introduction (14.00-14.20):

New Challenges for Immigrant Social Protection in Times of Crisis

Presentation of main findings of the book: “South-North Migration of EU Citizens in Times of Crisis” (Springer, 2017)

  • Dr Jean-Michel Lafleur (University of Liège)

Roundtable Discussion (14.20-15.25):

Migration, Crises and Social Protection

Chair: Dr Daniela Vintila (University of Liège)


  • Dr Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels (University of Kent), Gastarbeiter Migration Revised: Consolidating Germany’s Position as an Immigration Country
  • Dr Roxana Barbulescu (University of Leeds), From International Migration to Freedom of Movement and Back? South-North vs East-West EU Mobility
  • Dr Jean-Michel Lafleur (University of Liège), Restrictions on Access to Social Protection by New Southern European Migrants in Belgium

Reaction: Crises and the Future of Free Movement in Europe

  • Dr Federico Pancaldi, Policy Officer (European Commission, DG EMPL)
  • Fintan Farrell, Project Manager (European Anti-Poverty Network, EAPN)

Q&A with Public and Media (15.25- 15.50)

Renewing the Social Protection Agenda in Europe (15.50-16.05)

Presentation of the ERC-funded Project “Migration, Transnationalism and Social Protection” (MiTSoPro)

  • Dr Jean-Michel Lafleur (University of Liège)
  • Angeliki Konstantinidou (University of Liège)

Conclusions and Q&A (16.05-16.20)

End of Conference and Reception (16.20)