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The 2004 EU Enlargement and the Politics of Internal Mobility: States, European Union and Market

Sybille Regout

At the perspective of the 2004 EU enlargement, Member States sat together to consider the application of temporary restrictions to the free movement of workers. Before the negotiations, only Austria and Germany were in favour of protecting their labour market. However, by the end of the sessions, ten additional Member States had changed their minds. In this paper, we will analyse the agenda-setting and the decision-making processes that led to the application of these temporary restrictions. This particular case study will serve as an illustration to Hollifield's liberal paradox (1992), according to which liberal democracies are divided between a trends towards greater openness in the economic area against domestic political closure. According to this paradox, the market logics would have been predominant in countries that did not apply any temporary restrictions to the free movement of workers, against a primacy of the States' logics in Member States that did. We shall also investigate the role of a third pole, the European Union, in a State-Market-EU triangulation. This paper will present the work of our first year of thesis on the same subject.

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