European migrants in Ireland: Pathways to integration


Gilmartin, Mary and Bettina, Migge (2013) European migrants in Ireland: Pathways to integration. European Urban and Regional Studies. ISSN 0969-7764

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Abstract

Within the EU, efforts in relation to integration are generally directed towards migrants from outside the EU. However, there is evidence that intra-EU migrants face similar obstacles to integration to those of non-EU citizens. Since Ireland has a large EU migrant population, this paper critically explores EU migrants’ integration in Ireland. Drawing on a wider longitudinal study, the paper focuses on the lived experiences of 39 migrants from EU Member States living in Ireland. Focusing on domains of integration, we explore the different pathways by which EU migrants move to Ireland and become part of Irish society. Cultural and social pathways – including language, study, adventure and social relationships – are important as the original motivation for migration. Contrary to popular perception, economic factors such as employment were mostly seen as enabling social and cultural interests. However, economic but also social pathways came to the fore during the recession, when securing one’s livelihood and networks took on a new importance. We show that migrants developed various tactics to intensify their contact with Irish society and to develop feelings of being ‘at home’, despite a deteriorating economic situation. Despite these individual efforts, EU migrants continue to face obstacles to integration in Ireland: obstacles that need to be acknowledged at addressed within Ireland and across the EU more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: European Union; integration; Ireland; migration;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
Item ID: 4370
Depositing User: Dr. Mary Gilmartin
Date Deposited: 23 May 2013 15:16
Journal or Publication Title: European Urban and Regional Studies
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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