“The grandiosity of tasks and mediocrity of tools”: Confronting the transnational social question with mobile CEE citizens’ experiences in Sweden

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: This thesis contributes to the debate surrounding east-west intra-EU mobility, the transnational social question and European citizenship by uncovering often undervalued and stigmatized histories, periences, and knowledge from the EU’s central and eastern member states by highlighting the voices of mobile CEE citizens in Sweden. Taking a problem-driven, adaptive approach, this thesis draws on qualitative interviews—with twelve respondents representing Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, and Estonia—contextualized by official documents from the EU and Sweden, including a European Commission communication and press release, a report prepared by Sweden’s National Board of Trade, and a letter from the EU Affairs ministers of Sweden, Finland, and Norway defending the freedom of movement. This is indicative of the broader purpose of this thesis to problematize ‘the west’ and focus on how the EU—and Sweden in particular—can follow through on their declared values by learning from the strategies mobile CEE citizens employ. Employing an verarching theoretical lens of coloniality, the thesis compares and contrasts the lived experiences of mobile CEE citizens in Sweden with norms promoted by the EU and Sweden; reveals the transnationality of the social question with the obstacles encountered by mobile CEE citizens; and exposes aspects of coloniality in the eastern enlargement and ongoing governance of the EU. In this way, the findings have implications for the future of European integration or (dis)integration.

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