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Social Benefits and Migration

A Contested Relationship and Policy Challenge in the EU

Edited by Elspeth Guild, Sergio Carrera, and Katharina Eisele
social benefits and migration cover

This book examines the main policy controversies that have emerged in the European Union over migration and its impact on the welfare system. Does migration constitute a disproportionate burden to member states’ domestic labor markets and welfare systems? Should noncitizens be entitled to social benefits in the state where they live? Is there objective evidence and statistical data indicating abuse of social benefits by noncitizens, “social welfare tourism,” or the “welfare magnet” hypothesis, in which migrants are attracted to countries that provide more generous welfare?

The contributors analyze these controversies as they affect different categories of noncitizens in the framework of EU law and policy. They also examine the uses or misuses of data, information, and social science knowledge in the debates over the reliance by noncitizens on social benefits. The book concludes with a set of recommendations addressed to EU policymakers.

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