Intra-European Irish Commuter Households' Mobility/Immobility Strategies
Start date: Mar 1, 2013,
End date: Feb 28, 2015
"The IEICHMIS project examines the mobility strategies of a rarely-studied subgroup of mobile people: intra-European commuter households. Given current migration trends in the Republic of Ireland, it focuses specifically on commuter corridors between the Republic and other EU-27 member states, with special attention given to London and Brussels as commuting destinations. Fostering a “mobility culture” between EU states is one of the priority strategies of the European Commission and the European Research Area for furthering European competiveness and integration in an enlarged Europe. European citizens, however, display much more ambivalence towards mobility, with only one in ever fifty living in a member state outside their own. Commuter households, however, occupy a unique position to explore such mobility/immobility dynamics evident across the EU, caught as they are somewhere between staying and moving. Drawing on labour migration, mobilities, transnationalism and family sociology research, this project offers a novel contribution to debates on contemporary mobile lives. With the focus on a neglected form of mobility – commuting – the project will ground empirically and enrich theoretically research on present-day mobilities. Methodologically, it offers an innovative approach, focusing on the household biography rather than the lone migrant. To this end, the project incorporates the views of both family members left behind (children and stay-behind parent) as well as the breadwinner commuter. The EC predicts that EU cross-border commuting will grow to be a “mega trend” in future years. The IEICHMIS project provides the first major qualitative assessment of the mobility strategies of European commuter households. The project’s findings will deepen understanding of key barriers to cross-border EU mobility, which is crucial to furthering knowledge on a core policy of the revised Lisbon strategy, namely deepening the process of integration in an enlarged Europe."
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