Legitimating intra-European movement discourses: understanding mobility and migration

  • Mark M. A. C. van OstaijenEmail author
Original Article


Free movement of people can be considered as a contested issue. While the European Commission stimulates a further ‘harmonization’ of citizen ‘mobility’, some member-states question the ‘burdens’ of ‘EU migration’. To understand these differences, it contains a multi-level focus on the meaning-making practices of policy actors at the European Commission and in the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a European legal discourse legitimated by expert authorization which differs with a Dutch national discourse legitimated by mythopoesis. As such, it displays the significance of a discursive approach since it shows the contested meaning-making practices and its policy consequences around intra-European movement.


Discursive legitimacy Discourse Meaning-making Migration Mobility 



I would like to thank Karin Zelano (Gothenburg University) in doing an important part of the fieldwork and sharing the interview transcripts for the purpose of this article.


This work was supported by the Joint Program Initiative Urban Europe under Grant Number 438-12-412 (IMAGINATION).


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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tilburg Institute of GovernanceTilburg University (TiU)TilburgThe Netherlands

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