EU Migrant Citizens, Welfare States and Social Rights

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Martin SEELEIB-KAISER, Oxford Institute of Social Policy, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Cecilia BRUZELIUS, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
This paper contributes to the debate on social rights of immigrants in different welfare states. Specifically, it focuses on EU migrant citizens and emphasises the significance of decomposing welfare regimes and comparing, instead, specific policies.

Existing accounts of the relationship between type of welfare state and generosity of welfare rights granted to immigrants tend to be based on broad analytical categories, overlooking the specific intricacies of welfare rights access and generosity within specific policy domains. In addition, it is often assumed that EU migrant citizens have the same access to social rights as national citizens, thereby failing to acknowledge the stratified nature of EU citizenship. Finally, differences in national social protection systems can translate into differences of social rights between EU migrant citizens in destination countries. To properly understand what social rights EU migrant citizens' effectively have, it is therefore important to analyse not only the broad features of welfare states, but also the specific social policies in more detail and to look at EU citizens with different characteristics.

The paper compares EU migrant citizens’ social rights in Germany, Sweden and the UK, each a typical case of different welfare regimes. Differences in EU migrant citizens social rights’, with a special focus on social assistance, family benefits and unemployment benefits, across the countries is explored using ideal-typical examples of EU migrant citizens, based on their country of origin, economic status, length of residence and policy domain.