Two-tier EU citizenship: Disposable Eastern European workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Ulceluse, Magdalena and Bender, Felix (2022) Two-tier EU citizenship: Disposable Eastern European workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organization, 29 (3). pp. 449-459. ISSN 1350-5084

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We argue that the (mis)treatment of Eastern European migrant workers during the pandemic revealed the existence of a two-tier EU citizenship, despite the political discourse of equality within the EU. We show that this two-tier citizenship system was generated by the combined effect of differentiated rights and of prejudicious practices applied to EE citizens. In terms of differentiated rights, we refer specifically to the implementation of transitional arrangements for up to 7 years following the Eastern enlargements in 2004 and 2007, which restricted access to the labour markets and welfare systems of the incumbent member states, de facto undermining the right to free movement for this group of EU citizens. In terms of prejudicious practices, we refer to the instances of exploitation, abuses, de-skilling, exclusion from public services and use of social rights that EE migrant workers have been well documented to experience. We show that the two-tier citizenship system reflects the unequal power relations between Member States and the internal political, economic and social hierarchy present within the European Union.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This Magdalena Ulceluse’s work received support from the European Union’s Horizon H2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 726950 - IMAJINE (Integrative Mechanisms for Addressing Spatial Justice and Territorial Inequalities in Europe).
Uncontrolled Keywords: citizenship, COVID-19, discrimination, Eastern Europe, EU, inequality, migration
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2022 11:37
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 12:03

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