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    Mobile Estonian EU citizens in Sweden: Transnational portability practices and their limitations.

    Advanced seminar arranged by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Speakers: Ann Runfors, Florence Fröhlig and Maarja Saar, Södertörn University.
    Chair: Jenny Gunnarsson Payne, Södertörn University.
    Discussant: Kjetil Duvold, Högskolan Dalarna.

    The TRANSWEL research-project – Mobile Welfare in a Transnational Europe: An Analysis of Portability Regimes of Social Security Rights – is a four-country, comparative, and interdisciplinary project addressing questions concerning portability of social security rights in the enlarged European Union. More specifically the project examines portability of the right to health insurance, to unemployment, retirement and family-related benefits between “new” and “old” EU member states: Germany – Bulgaria, United Kingdom – Poland, Austria – Hungary and Sweden – Estonia. TRANSWEL is performed by four teams of researchers, based in, respectively, the Universities of Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Anna Amelina, overall project lead); of Vienna; Austria (lead: Elisabeth Scheibelhofer); of Södertörn, Sweden (lead: Ann Runfors); and Bath, UK (lead: Emma Carmel).

    How do mobile Estonians experience access to, and portability of, social security rights? How are these experiences conditioned by regulations and by the discourses of belonging that regulations are embedded in? What strategies do the mobile Estonians use in organizing their welfare? This is a unique exploration of the under researched group Estonians in Sweden which combines empirical in-depth studies of both regulations, discourses of belonging, EU citizen’s portability experiences and their portability practices.

    The paper maps out institutional conditions that might impact on mobile Estonian EU-citizen’s welfare strategies and portability practices by firstly examining the ways in which Estonia and Sweden adopt to EU:s supranational regulations of welfare and secondly by studying the discourses of belonging inherent in welfare regulations. It shows how institutional conditions are created by among other things mismatching welfare systems, highly procedural regulations and conflicting logics within the discourses. Not least, this paper analyses mobile Estonians’ own experiences with access to and the portability of social security rights between the two countries – such as lack of information, overload of bureaucracy and habits of not relying on welfare benefits. Their experiences and their (transnational) coping strategies are discussed in relation to the mapped-out conditions and it is explained how the conditions restrict welfare access and portability above all for those who move frequently between the two countries.

    Tid och plats

    När: måndag 30 oktober kl. 13:00-14:30

    Vad: högre seminarium

    Var: Room MA 796, CBEES, Södertörn University.

    Arrangeras av: The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska