This article addresses why and how mobility has become central to the
EU’s idea of doctoral education, aiming to reconstruct, in a historical
perspective, the gradual conceptualisation of mobility as a policy idea.
This process began with the discussion of academic mobility in the
1970s, when the European Communities had as yet no responsibility
in the field of education, which resulted in the Erasmus Programme. In
the late 1990s, the Bologna Process strengthened the discussion, substantially
contributing to a consideration of mobility as a policy tool
and the establishment of a mobility strategy. In connection with the
EU research policy, the integration of doctoral studies into the Bologna
Process is specifically analysed. The article concludes with some open
questions, including the potentially negative consequences of the
instrumentalisation of higher education for the concept of mobility.