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Investigating ‘Forced Mobility’ of EU Citizens within the European Union

Dr Agnieszka Martynowicz is currently undertaking research and international collaboration with a range of scholars investigating ‘forced mobility’ of EU citizens within the European Union. ‘Forced mobility’ in this context is understood as a range of measures that can affect EU citizens who are, for a variety of reasons, labelled by ‘host’ EU states as ‘undesirable’. These measures include deportations, extraditions, transfers of prisoners, as well as administrative removals across borders. While deportation and post-deportation experiences of individuals sent to countries outside of the EU are increasingly being documented, less attention has been paid to EU nationals removed to other EU Member States within the Union. EU citizens exercising ‘free movement’ rights enjoy, in theory, more protection from deportation or other forms of forced removal under EU Directives. Often, however, they are subjected to the same process of segregation as described above and a growing number are forced to return to their countries of origin. In the UK, just to give one example, in the year after the Brexit referendum in June 2016, the number of removals of EU citizens from the UK increased by 20%. Romanians and Poles both feature among the top ten nationalities removed from the UK in 2016 (ranking third and eighth respectively). The overall number of EU nationals returned from the UK to their countries of origin reached just over 5,300 in 2017. Removals are enforced no matter how long migrants have lived on the territory of the host country. In a lot of cases, it is enough that – at some point – they have become othered by the host society or its government as non-belonging or ‘dangerous’.

The research is a co-operation with Professor Witold Klaus of the Institute of Law Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, and was developed thanks to the British Academy Visiting Fellowship granted to Professor Klaus in 2018.

As continuation of the work, Professor Klaus and Dr Martynowicz successfully obtained additional funding from the British Academy to support organisation of a conference by the same title that took place in Liverpool on the 27th August 2019.

Following the success of the conference, Professor Klaus and Dr Martynowicz are currently co-editing a Special Issue of the Central and Eastern European Migration Review ( that will include selected papers from the conference plus additional contributions from a range of other scholars with interest in this particular area of research and practice. The SI will be published in early 2021.