Social Protection: Practices and Experiences of Mobile Europeans. the European Promise of Portability of Social Rights Revisited

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:30
Location: Hörsaal I (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Anna AMELINA, Department of Sociology, University of Frankfurt/M., Germany
Nora REGOES, Department of Sociology University of Vienna, Austria
Elisabeth SCHEIBELHOFER, Department of Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria
This contribution is based on an internationally comparative research project with the title “Mobile Welfare in a Transnational Europe. An Analysis of Portability Regimes of Social security Rights” (acronym TRANSWEL; project coordinator: Prof. Anna Amelina). This four-country, comparative, and interdisciplinary project addresses the issue of social rights of EU citizens beginning their mobility from the ‘new’ EU member states and who move to live and/or work in ‘old’ member states. Empirically, the project traces the migration of regularly and irregularly employed migrants and their family members, and their social security rights between four pairs of countries: Hungary-Austria, Bulgaria-Germany, Poland-United Kingdom and Estonia-Sweden.

The contribution for this session will outline the overall research agenda in order to provide an input how to research questions addressed in this session such as (global) social protection, the institutional actors involved, and the actual access of migrants to welfare provisions in transnational terms. Furthermore, we will present results from our case studies that highlight the limitations of the practices migrants engage in when accessing their portable social rights within an EU context. We will do so by drawing on different data sources and triangulating research methods: Expert interviews, and document analyses for the case of Hungary and Austria show for example how these two inherently different administrative logics interact. We will show how the opaqueness and heterogeneity of the social security systems hinder the access for migrants. Also, based on a quantitative survey and first qualitative interviews with migrants, we will confront these analyses with the actual practices of and experiences with portability of migrants.