Acceptable in the EU? Why some immigration restrictionists support European Union mobility

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Series Details Volume 20, 3, Pages 468-491
Publication Date September 2019
ISSN 1465-1165 (print) | 1741-2757 (online)
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Why do some Europeans support immigration from within the European Union, while rejecting immigration from elsewhere? Acceptance of intra-European Union mobility—even by those who wish to restrict immigration more generally—is important for popular support for the European Union itself.

This paper identifies and attempts to explain the preferences of “EU-only inclusionists”: EU nationals who support relatively high levels of immigration, but only from within the European Union. We analyze an underexplored experimental module in the European Social Survey to explore European Union inclusionism in relation to other preference profiles. We find that identification with the European Union helps explain specific support for European Union mobility, while subnational (racial and religious) identities are associated with a preference for European migrants over non-Europeans, but not with specific support for intra-European Union movement.

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