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Navigating the European space: physical and virtual forms of cross-border mobility among EU citizens

[working paper]

Salamońska, Justyna; Baglioni, Lorenzo Grifone; Recchi, Ettore

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395617

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Abstract Drawing on earlier works in the EUCROSS series, this working paper proposes a comprehensive picture of physical and virtual mobility practices. Physical mobilities are characterised with regards to the time factor, thus distinguishing between high and low permanence practices (or ‘migrationlike’ and ‘tourism-like’ mobilities). Virtual mobilities may have personal or impersonal character (taking a ‘facebook-like’ or an ‘eBay-like’ form). A short discussion of each mobility type is additionally described with existing sources (mainly from Eurostat). This range of cross-border practices is then mapped within the European countries in which the EUCROSS survey was carried out (Germany, the UK, Denmark, Italy, Spain and Romania). Quite against conventional wisdom which suggests that EU citizens make modest use of their free movement rights and are rather immobile, we found that one in six Europeans of the EUCROSS sample has spent at least three months in another EU country in their lifetime. Furthermore, 51 per cent have visited another EU member state, even if for a short vacation, in the last two years. Europeans cross borders in a nonphysical sense as well (almost three quarters of our sample), when they connect online or on the phone with significant others who migrated or with friends they met during their physical trips. Finally, Europeans increasingly engage in cross-border transactions (almost one third of EUCROSS sample), shopping online but also transferring money abroad. All these practices are socially structured, their likelihood depending significantly on education, socioeconomic status, gender and age in differing degrees, as multivariate analyses detail. National contexts matter as well. Danes are most mobile when it comes to low permanence physical mobility and impersonal virtual moves. In turn, Britons and Romanians – possibly with different purposes – have definitely higher odds of having migrated, even in the wider sense of migration as ‘long-permanence mobility’ that we used. This reverberates on being more strongly networked with other persons abroad than any other nationality examined.
Keywords EU; European integration; transnationality; transnationalization; globalization; cosmopolitanism; identity; european identity; identification; mobility; EU citizen; migration; Europeanization; everyday life; tourism; travel; social network; Internet; internet community; freedom of movement; socioeconomic factors
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Leisure Research; Interactive, electronic Media; European Politics
Free Keywords EUCROSS; cross-border mobility; cross-border practices; cross-border transactions; collective identification; virtual mobility; everyday transnationalism; physical mobility
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
Page/Pages 37 p.
Series EUCROSS Working Paper, 5
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications