New working paper 2018

Florian Zabransky and Jana Fingarova (2018) Belonging and European Social Membership: Legitimations and Contestations in Bulgarian and German Social Policy Expert Interviews. WSF working papers TRANSWEL #3, September 2018.

The Final Conference of the Welfare State Futures took place on the 24th and 25th May 2018 at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.  The project lead Anna Amelina presented the general outcomes from our TRANSWEL project.  Team members Nora Regös, Kinga Papiez and Jana Fingarova presented project related findings for the country pairs Hungary-Austria, Poland-Great Britain, and Bulgaria-Germany.

42290662762_aa602223d9_kProject Leaders, NORFACE Welfare State Futures Programme, Copyright: Robert Schuman Centre

42275792692_22b6e04d25_kPresentation giver, Jana Fingarova, from TRANSWEL Project at the NORFACE Welfare State Futures final conference

You can find the programme of the final conference here: WSF Final Conference Programme.

Highlights from the TRANSWEL project’s international workshop on “Transnational Social Citizenship in an Age of Uncertainty: Migration and Social Protection in Europe and Beyond”, Lübbenau Castle, Lübbenau, Germany, 26/27 April 2018 (by Jana Fingarova)

Organizers: Anna Amelina (University of Cottbus), Emma Carmel (University of
Bath), Ann Runfors (Södertörn University), Elisabeth Scheibelhofer (University of



In the past decades, cross-border migration across Europe and other world regions has contributed to the emergence of various forms of transnational social membership. The aim of the international workshop of the TRANSWEL project was to discuss facets of social membership, transnational social protection and migration.

The first panel, “European Social Citizenship between Official Rhetoric and Everyday Administrative Practice”, provided important insights on the concept of European social citizenship. Presenting the overall scope of the TRANSWEL project, Anna Amelina (BTU Cottbus–Senftenberg) addressed the hierarchical boundaries to social citizenship in the European context, with a special focus on the role of requirements for formal employment and long-term residency.  Martin Seeleib-Kaiser (University of Tübingen) questioned the main premises of EU social citizenship, noting that the huge differences among the member states when it comes to social spending practically exclude mobile citizens of Eastern and Southern European EU countries from access to welfare.

The panel, “Transnational Approaches to the Dialectics between Formal and Informal Social Protection”, addressed topics from perspectives less often used in the field. For example, Jean-Michel Lafleur (University of Liège) provided a framework for analysing the impact of diasporas on healthcare arrangements in countries of emigration, and Elisabeth Scheibelhofer and Nora Regös (University of Vienna) focused on the complexity of the “labyrinths” of European social security that impede EU citizens’ access to and portability of entitlements despite migrants’ “welfare learning”.

The last three panels addressed a number of current topics such as the question of how we might conceptualize the ‘European social question’. Emma Carmel (University of Bath) argued that given that the rights of EU movers are framed by multiple constraints, the term ‘privileges’ would be more appropriate than ‘rights’ in the EU context.


Here you can download a longer version of the highlights from our international workshop ‘Transnational Social Citizenship in an Age of Uncertainty: Migration and Social Protection in Europe and Beyond’ (summary_transwel_workshop in PDF) and also the program (workshop_program_transnational_citizenship_final in PDF)

9.04.2018 TRANSWEL Project at the University of Vienna

University of Vienna presented TRANSWEL Project results on its Societal Impact Plattform. You can read the article in German: Zwischen Braindrain und sozialem Abstieg

Working papers in 2018: 

Maarja Saar, Florence Fröhlig and Ann Runfors (2018): Welfare Negotations Among Estonians Working in Sweden. Experiences, Barriers and Narrated Coping Strategiess. Available for download here.


Listen to an interview with Elisabeth Scheibelhofer (March 2018) for the German online magazine “derkontext”: (for subscribers)

Past events:

5-6 December 2017 WSF Thematic Workshop on “Migration and Welfare” Birmingham, UK Anna Amelina (TRANSWEL), Jenny Phillimore (UPWEB)

19-22 September 2017 – TRANSWEL Workshop

We are happy to announce that the researchers from our four country-team pairs (Bulgaria-Germany, Hungary-Austria, Sweden-Estonia, Poland-UK) met in Frankfurt for our final TRANSWEL Workshop. Results from a three-year work have been shared and discussed, and future publications were prepared.

New working papers in 2017: 

Florian Zabransky and Anna Amelina (2017): Intra-EU Mobility and Selective European Social Citizenship: Profiles of Welfare Inclusion and Exclusion in the Context of EU Social Security Coordination. Available for download here.

Jana Fingarova (2017): Intra-EU Mobility and Portability of Social Security Rights between Bulgaria and Germany: Formal Regulations and Barriers to Mobile Bulgarians. Available for download here.

Some members of the TRANSWEL project attend the 24th International Conference on Europeanists: ‘Sustainability Transformation’, July 12 – 14 in Glasgow.

The Emergence of Transnational Social Citizenship: Mobility and Portability of Social Security Rights within the European Union

4:00 to 5:45 PM – University of Glasgow WMB – Hugh Fraser Seminar Room 2

Chairs: Anna Amelina, Brandenburg Unversity of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg; Emma Carmel, University of Bath

European Portability of Social Security Rights As a Paradigmatic Example of Transnational Social Citizenship. Anna Amelina, Brandenburg Unversity of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg

What Is the European Union Anyway? How the Governance of Social Security and Free Movement Can Illuminate Our Understanding of the European Union. Emma Carmel, University of Bath

The Dominance of the National in the European Discourses of Portability? Florence Fröhlig, Södertörn University

Mobile EU Citizens’ Inequality Experiences: Barriers in Accessing Social Security and the Informal Protection Strategies of Mobile Bulgarians. Jana Fingarova, Brandenburg Unversity of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg

Discussant: Regine Paul, Bielefeld University

The program can be found here.


Public presentations at the University of Vienna: “Migration and social security in the EU: Theoretical approaches and empirical findings”. The program is available here. The abstracts can be downloaded here. Pictures of the event can be found below:


The first Working Paper has been published: Carmel, Emma; Sojka, Bozena with Papiez, Kinga (2016): Free to Move, Right to Work, Entitled to Claim? Governing Social Security Portability for Mobile Europeans. The Paper is available here.

New policy briefs have been published. They are available here.