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Regions without borders? Regional governance, migration, and social protection in Africa and Europe

Bob Deacon, Lorenzo Fioramonti and Sonja Nita

In many respects, Europe and Africa (particularly Southern Africa) represent two opposing examples in the study of intra-regional migration and social cohesion. The European Union (EU) has been a global pioneer in allowing freedom of movement and portability of social rights across member states. A centerpiece of the EU integration process has been the progressive establishment of a common market, in which goods, services, capital, and people can move freely. With regard to the la􀄴 er, the concept of free movement originally only targeted the economically active population (in other words, the free movement of workers) but was gradually extended by Treaty amendments to all citizens of the EU. This extension was further strengthened by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, which introduced the concept of citizenship in the European Union thereby establishing the fundamental and personal right to move and reside freely within the EU.

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