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European Union Centre of Excellence

Conference: Free Movement and Discrimination – The European Union in Comparative Perspective, November 28, 2011

The European Union Centre of Excellence at York University is pleased to be presenting a one-day international conference entitled “Free Movement and Discrimination: The European Union in Comparative Perspective” on Monday, November 28, 2011 at York’s Glendon campus. This event is being convened by Prof. Willem Maas, a Co-Director of EUCE York, a Jean Monnet Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science and Public & International Affairs at York’s Glendon campus.

About the conference:

Democratic states tend to guarantee free movement within their territory to all citizens. Similarly, the European Union guarantees the right to live and the right to work anywhere within EU territory to EU citizens and members of their families. Such rights reflect the project of equality and undifferentiated individual rights for all who have the status of citizen. But they are not uncontested. Within the EU, several member states have or propose to reintroduce border controls and restrict access for EU citizens who claim social assistance. Some, most notably France and Italy, have emphasized their expulsions of Roma, which challenge human rights norms against discrimination. Within democratic states, particularly federal ones and others where decentralized jurisdictions are responsible for social welfare provision, it sometimes appears that some citizens are more equal than others. Principles such as benefit portability, prohibition of residence requirements for access to programs or rights, and mutual recognition of qualifications and credentials facilitate the free flow of people within states and reflect the attempt to eliminate internal borders. The purpose of this conference is to explore the politics of free movement and discrimination in the EU and a range of democratic states. Participants will be asked to revise their contributions for publication.

For more information on this event, including the conference program and paper abstracts, please visit: