Britain and the Other: Moral perceptions of the right to free movement in the European Commission and in the UK

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Abstract

As a result of the enlargement of the European Union (EU), the number of migrants from Eastern and Central European countries has expanded in the " old " Member States, after which some politicians and political parties have started to question the rationale of free movement. This article tackles this topical subject by analysing the moral aspects of the right to free movement, which is a fundamental right in the European Union. A new framework for analysing moral stances will be introduced, which makes it possible to analyze moral perspectives on a broader scale instead of focusing on single juxtapositions. As an illustrative example of the use of the framework, the attitudes toward free movement of three European Commissioners and United Kingdom (UK) Free movement is currently a hot topic in Europe, the justification of which has been strongly questioned by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron. This article will analyze moral perceptions of the right to free movement, which is a fundamental right in the EU and was already prescribed in the Treaty of Rome in 1957. As a core freedom of EU citizens, the attitude toward the right to free movement will also reveal perceptions of " otherness " and of the new European minorities resulting from free movement. The aim of this article is to examine how the moral dimensions of contractization, communitarization, solidaritization and utilitarization are employed in political statements for and against the right to free movement in the European Commission and in the UK. Each of these dimensions will be introduced, its manifestation in the discourse will be illustrated, and conclusions will be drawn on the observed moral perplexity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe
Volume14
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)71-92
Number of pages22
ISSN1617-5247
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • European Union
  • Roma
  • United Kingdom
  • free movement
  • moral theories
  • 517 Political science

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