CITIZENSHIP, MIGRATION, AND THE NATION-STATE: EXPLORING UK POLICY RESPONSES TO ROMANIAN AND BULGARIAN MIGRATION
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Since 2004, the UK has enjoyed a decade of experience in managing migration from EU8 countries. This time around, how well founded are the fears that 2014 will see another ‘flood’ of migrants, on par with levels experienced in 2004? This essay argues that EU2 migration, from Romania and Bulgaria, will not be a repeat of 2004. To begin, this paper will examine the reasons why there was a twenty-fold discrepancy between official estimates of expected migrants following the 2004 enlargement. Then, by using Poland as a case study of typical migration flows after the 2004 migration period, this paper will show that— contrary to predictions based on standard migration theory— mass migration outflows in 2004 is not a good predictor of events to come in 2014. Among other factors, given that those who wanted to migrate to the UK from Romania and Bulgaria already have migrated pre-accession and more countries opened their labour markets in 2014 than they did in 2004, the UK is not likely to see a mass influx of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants as it did with those of Polish origin in 2004. However, like Polish migration, Romanian and Bulgarian migration will tend to be more circular and ‘fluid’.
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