Methodology for analysis of politics and institutions

Why do some EU Member States want to reform the current EU regulations around free movement by restricting EU workers’ access to welfare benefits, while other EU countries want to keep the current rules?

To investigate this question, the REMINDER project studied whether and why EU Member States want to restrict EU workers’ welfare benefits, and what explains political debates and disagreements between EU countries on these issues. A key question was whether and how the characteristics of national welfare institutions influence EU Member States’ ‘country positions’ on whether and how to reform the free movement of workers. This also involved looking at how the characteristics of national welfare states affect public attitudes to free movement in EU Member States. The research found that differences in national welfare institutions (including family policies) and associated normative attitudes to redistribution across EU Member States, in interaction with other factors, can and do play an important and under-appreciated role in explaining recent political conflicts about free movement between EU countries.

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