Complex and Convoluted Borders within EU: Free-Movers and Their Experience of Negotiating Borders to Labor Market and Social Welfare in Sweden



This article explores the EU free movers’ experience of borders and describes how they experience borders as complicated and complex. Although some variation exists in terms of the place of the free movers in the labor market, the advantage gained by being a corporate transferee is easily lost when individuals cease to be useful to their employers. The ambivalence – which is highlighted in past literature and experienced by Estonian migrants in Sweden also – is exploited by employers who create and also negotiate borders when they feel the need to. The article concurs with the suggestion of Wagner (2015) that free mobility within the EU functions as a sieve – i.e., there is free mobility for services, but workers’ rights are often disregarded. Furthermore, due to the complex nature of borders, EU free movers themselves are often either unaware of or confused about their legal status and their rights.


EU free mobilityMigration industriesTransnational welfareBordersMigration governance
  • Year: 2022
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 174–189
  • DOI: 10.33134/njmr.356
  • Submitted on 11 Jun 2020
  • Accepted on 8 Oct 2021
  • Published on 1 Jun 2022
  • Peer Reviewed