Conceptualising EU Labour Migration

University of Mainz, 5 July 2013

Objectives relevant to labour migration at the European level date back to the 1970s. However, it was not until the Amsterdam Treaty (1999) and the Tampere European Council (1999) that the adoption of binding EU law on the issue became feasible. Since progress on this policy was subsequently absent for a number of years, labour migration became the missing element in the establishment of a truly common EU immigration policy. Any such policy necessitates common rules on the admission and residence of non-EU workers. In the past few years progress was made in this area of EU policy-making.

There are several rationales highlighting the value-added of this workshop and subsequent special issue (for which we have the principal approval from the Cambridge Review of International Affairs):

1) Legal migration as a sub-field of EU migration policy has for a long time received only little attention in the literature, despite its considerable societal importance and central role in terms of state sovereignty. Most of the literature on labour migration in Europe mainly focuses on the domestic policies of the Member States and other countries. While there is now a very substantial body of literature conceptualising EU asylum policy, EU policy on labour migration is not yet sufficiently analysed and conceptualised. This special edition seeks to bridge this gap.

2) The area of labour migration has substantial societal relevance: experts and policy-makers both at national and at European level have argued that certain forms of labour migration could help stimulate productivity and growth by meeting labour and skills shortages, also as a means of offsetting the impact of aging populations. Also relevant in that respect is the Union’s Europe 2020 strategy for reviving the EU economy, for which meeting the needs to the EU labour market constitutes an important aspect. In addition, while a third of the world’s nearly 90 million migrant workers reside in Europe, the majority of them works in lower-skilled forms of employment (although there has been an increased effort by many member states on attracting high-skilled migrants). The US, Canada, Australia and other countries have managed to draw a significantly larger share of high-skilled foreign workers (proportionally). Since 2005 the EU and its member states have therefore declared entering into competition with other industrialised countries for the globally mobile knowledge elite.

3) In empirical terms this policy area to some extent constitutes a paradox. Generally speaking, EU policy-making in the area of labour migration has been much constrained due to interest heterogeneity among member states and decision rules that favoured deadlock. In the post-Lisbon period, (considerable) intergovernmental elements are maintained in EU legal/labour migration policy. As stated in the Lisbon Treaty, measures on immigration ‘shall not affect the right of Member States to determine volumes of admission of third-country nationals coming from third countries to their territory in order to seek work […]’ (Art. 79.5). Despite these constraints, and the sovereignty concerns of member states – as this policy area touches upon national labour markets and welfare systems – EU labour migration has undergone rather significant developments, and further integrational steps are likely to unfold in this field. Labour migration is a field in which the EU seems to have substantial aspirations, such as a common framework for an EU admissions system, as reflected in the Stockholm Programme that elaborates the Union’s asylum and immigration agenda until 2014.

4) Labour migration constitutes a policy field that is particularly interesting and relevant from a theoretical perspective. Within the wider EU migration literature some developments have been witnessed over the past few years that question the dominance of intergovernmental (including venue-shopping) approaches. In the context of this theoretical development labour migration constitutes a crucial case (issue area) because nationa l resistances and intergovernmental structures have been greatest in this sub-field of EU migration policy. Hence, labour migration may be the ultimate test for the gradual rise of more supranational approaches to EU migration policy.

The papers are tied together through the consistent use of concepts that are specified in the introductory paper and, more importantly, through their concern with conceptualising EU policy on labour migration. There are several gaps in the literature that the contributions to the special issue seek to address through three sets of questions:

a) Why do EU member states attempt to cooperate on the supranational level, while they are clearly diverging in their migration and labour needs?

b) How was the Commission able to secure support for some of its policy proposals?

c) Does venue shopping adequately capture the dynamics EU policy-making as regards labour migration? Or do we need alternative concepts/theories to understand the dynamics in this issue area?

Papers/paper givers

Introduction: conceptualising EU policy on labour migration
Andrew Geddes (University of Sheffiled) and Arne Niemann (University of Mainz)

Policy Framing and Partitioning in EU Politics on Labour Migration
Christof Roos (University of Bremen)

Competion or cooperation? Highly skilled migration policies in the EU - a case of
Paulina Kosc (Maastricht University)

Europe’s silent revolutions? The Europeanization of high-skilled labour migration policies in Germany
Andreas Ette (Federal Institute for Population Research)

EU labour migration and two-level games
Georg Menz (Goldsmiths College, London)

Temporary and circular migration in the construction of European migration governance
Andrew Geddes (University of Sheffield)


EU Simulations: Scholarly Reflection and Research on an Innovative Teaching Methodology
University of Mainz, 27-28 September 2013

The Workshop “EU Simulations: Scholarly Reflection and Research on an Innovative Teaching Methodology” organized by the Jean Monnet Chair for European Studies in cooperation with the Institute of Political Science and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz brought together leading scholars of international relations, political science and neighbouring disciplines.
In is opening address, Arne Niemann (University of Mainz) outlined the aim of the workshop which was to bridge the gap between the wide array of theoretical approaches to the conceptualisation, design, didactics as well as evaluation of EU simulations and “first-hand” experiences with the practice of simulations. The European Union and European integration became prominent parts of the teaching and research agenda within social sciences, law, economy and humanities on both sides of the Atlantic. The rise of its importance goes hand in hand with an increasing complexity of its functioning. This brings not only new topics for research and teaching, but also calls for new interdisciplinary approaches to both research and teaching.
Against this background, the workshop participants from Europe and the United States discussed how this innovative teaching methodology may be used to reduce the EU’s complexity in an accessible and engaging manner and to foster outcomes attuned to the needs of a rapidly changing knowledge-based society. This is achieved by using new cognitive and pedagogical models such as cooperative active learning to advance problem-solving, interaction and cooperation skills, which are often underdeveloped by traditional teaching methods focusing on knowledge transition.
More precisely, the workshop’s contributions dealt with the theoretical background of simulation games as learning tools, how to design and prepare a simulation, and different methods of evaluating a simulation. In addition, it was intensively debated how a simulation and different settings of simulations influence the participants.

For further details of the workshop, please see here.


European Economic Integration in Times of Crisis: Theoretical Perspectives
University of Mainz, 8-9 November 2013

Few events over the past few decades have given rise to an amount of debate and speculation concerning the state of the European Union and the future of European integration as the euro area‟s sovereign debt crisis. Over the past years, the crisis has drawn quite a substantial amount of media attention, as well as policy-making and academic analysis. Nevertheless, the broader and crucial questions of why and how the eurozone has remained intact (in fact, it expanded), in spite of the worst economic crisis experienced since the Great Depression, remain unanswered. This is largely due to a lack of conceptually-informed accounts that put the development of, and the Union‟s reaction to, the crisis into theoretical perspective (aside from economic ones). After all, the crisis might be economic in nature but its origins and management are multidimensional, which is why many commentators in general and the media in particular have had a hard time making sense of policy-makers‟ decisions (and pace thereof). This workshop brings together leading scholars in the field of European Integration Studies who apply and probe key theoretical approaches to this sequence of events.

The workshop participants:

Richard Bellamy is Professor of Political Science and Director of the European Institute at University College London.
Sara Hobolt is Professor at the European Institute at the London School of Economics & Political Science, where she holds the Sutherland Chair in European Institutions.
Demos Ioannou is Head of the European Central Bank Representative Office in Brussels.
Nicolas Jabko is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University.
Patrick Leblond is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa as well as Research Associate at CIRANO (Montreal).
Arne Niemann is Professor of International Politics and holder of a Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Mainz.
Magnus Ryner is Reader in International Political Economy in the Department of European & International Studies at King‟s College London.
Frank Schimmelfennig is Professor of European Politics at the Center for Comparative and International Studies, ETH, Zurich.
Amy Verdun is Professor and Chair of Political Science, Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam and the Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.
Albert Weale is Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at the Department of Political Science, University College London.