Do immigrants have an easy access to welfare in Europe?
Jean-Michel Lafleur, Associate Director of the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM / Social Science Research Unit) at the University of Liège and Daniela Vintila, Postdoctoral Researcher at CEDEM, publish three books comparing migrants’ access to social protection in Europe and beyond. Their findings highlight a general trend among EU Member States to restrict rights to social protection, but also reveal important variations across the continent.
ithin the European Union, almost half (45%) of non-EU foreigners aged 18 and above are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, compared to 20% of resident nationals. Even though migrants’ need for social support is often high, various restrictions exist across the EU preventing them from accessing social protection. Welfare is moreover increasingly used as a tool to restrict migration, as the take-up of social protection is often a condition for exclusion upon renewing residence permits or requesting family reunification or citizenship.
In a series of three volumes available on the website of Springer, Jean-Michel Lafleur, Associate Director of the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) and FNRS Research Asssiciate at the University of Liège, and Daniela Vintila, Postdoctoral Researcher at CEDEM, compare the conditions of access to health, unemployment benefits, pensions, family benefits and social assistance across EU27 Member States and 13 non-EU countries. The data was collected by an international network of over 100 migration and social policy experts working in the framework of the MiTSoPro research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC). For the Principal Investigator of the project, Jean-Michel Lafleur, “the 2008 financial crisis and the arrival of asylum seekers in 2015 have turned the issue of immigrant access to welfare into one of the most contentious topics of discussion across Europe. With these books, we intend to bring rational arguments back in the debate by precisely identifying the barriers that prevent immigrants to access to social protection across Europe”. For Daniela Vintila, “these books also represent a good opportunity for policy learning and the diffusion of good practices across Member States. They can also serve to inform migrants about their rights as foreigners residing in the EU”.
Migration and Social Protection in Europe and Beyond
The books are also available for consultation on the ORBi platform of the University of Liège.
Jean-Michel Lafleur is Research Professor at the University of Liège and Associate Director of the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM). He is also Senior Research Associate at the National Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS).
Daniela Vintila is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies (CEDEM) of the University of Liège