Article (Scientific journals)
Welfare brokers and European Union migrants' access to social protection
Voivozeanu, Maria-Alexandra; Lafleur, Jean-Michel
2023In British Journal of Sociology
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Keywords :
Germany; migration; non-take-up; Romania; social protection; welfare; Sociology and Political Science
Abstract :
[en] In spite of the existence of an extensive national and supranational legal framework, European Union (EU) citizens who exercise their right to freedom of movement to work in another Member State face numerous hurdles in accessing social protection. While recent scholarship on street-level bureaucracy and on migration and welfare has shed light on the role of discretion and stereotypes in access to rights, little is known about the processes through which such hurdles are overcome. In this article, we focus on a specific strategy which is the recourse to what we call “welfare brokers”. These actors offer assistance to EU migrants to overcome specific cross-border administrative challenges in the area of social protection that derive from their use of the right to freedom of movement. Relying on qualitative data collected with brokers and Romanian migrants working in Germany, the article also demonstrates that welfare brokers attempt to transform the norms, bureaucratic practices and representations that condition access to these entitlements. The article concludes by underlining how the existence of a brokerage industry is a sign of existing inequalities in the exercise of freedom of movement within the EU.
Research center :
IRSS-CEDEM - Institut de recherches en Sciences Sociales. Centre d'Études de l'Ethnicité et des Migrations - ULiège
Disciplines :
Sociology & social sciences
Political science, public administration & international relations
Author, co-author :
Voivozeanu, Maria-Alexandra ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Institut de recherche en Sciences Sociales (IRSS) > IRSS: Centre d'Etudes de l'Ethnicité et des Migrations
Lafleur, Jean-Michel  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences sociales > Centre d'études de l'ethnicité et des migrations (CEDEM) ; FRS-FNRS, Liège, Belgium
Language :
Title :
Welfare brokers and European Union migrants' access to social protection
Publication date :
Journal title :
British Journal of Sociology
Publisher :
John Wiley and Sons Inc
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Development Goals :
8. Decent work and economic growth
1. No poverty
3. Good health and well-being
10. Reduced inequalities
European Projects :
H2020 - 680014 - MiTSoPro - Migration and Transnational Social Protection in (post-)crisis Europe
Funders :
ERC - European Research Council [BE]
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique [BE]
Union Européenne [BE]
Funding text :
Results presented in this article were collected in the framework of the project Migration and Transnational Social Protection in (Post)Crisis Europe (MiTSoPro), financed by the ERC (Starting Grant No. 680014).
Available on ORBi :
since 15 May 2023


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