Germans work in the finance sector in London and Luxembourg, young Lithuanians work in fast food restaurants in Ireland, Italians study in British universities, and Swedes retire in sunny Spain.As an area of 27 countries with more than 500 million inhabitants, the European Union is currently the world’s best research laboratory on legal, transnational migration.
Significant numbers of guest workers, for example, migrated from Turkey to Germany, from Algeria to France, and from the British Commonwealth countries to Britain.
The oil crisis that started in 1973 put an end to the open-doors policy regarding migrant workers, who were welcomed when the economy needed them but were expected to leave when times were hard. "Migration in Hungary: historical legacies and differential integration" in Carmel, Emma, Cerami, Alfio, Papadopoulos, Theodoros.
Because the lack of skilled workers was seen as a threat to the economy, freedom of movement of qualified industrial workers was included in the treaties founding the European Economic Community (EEC), the predecessor of the current European Union, in 1957.
Over 8 million work permits were issued to foreigners in Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany (the original six members of the EEC) during the guest-worker period of 1958 to 1972. "Immigration and the variety of migrant integration regimes in the European Union".
This dilemma was neatly summarized by Swiss author Max Frisch: "We asked for workers, but human beings came."Expanding Freedom of Movement: From Workers to Citizens The right of free movement was initially intended for the economically active population: workers who were able to support themselves in the destination country.
However, the texts of the founding treaties of the EEC, as well as the implementation of secondary legislation, left room for interpretation. Trends, Puzzles and Consequences." European Societies 10: 2, 197-224.
One-third of the foreign workers came from within the EEC; mainly from Italy, which was lagging behind in industrialization and suffered from high unemployment. Carmel, Emma, Cerami, Alfio, Papadopoulos, Theodoros.
Workers were recruited through bilateral agreements from outside of Europe as well, especially to work in dirty, dangerous, and dull — the so-called 3D — jobs in the building, mining, and transportation sectors. Social Protection and the Challenges of Integration.
In a way, this opening up of borders is a return to the past.
Prior to the start of World War I in 1914, there were virtually no border controls or restrictions to labor mobility across the continent.
In numerous individual cases, the court ruled that a Member State of the EEC could not deny entry to or deport a citizen of another EEC state on the basis of personal conduct unless that conduct would warrant equally punitive action if it were undertaken by a citizen of the former state. Migrants and Europeans: An Outline of the Free Movement of Persons in the EU. Aalborg: The Academy for Migration Studies in Denmark, Aalborg University.