This theme focuses on the gap that still remains between the applicable legal rules and the reality confronting citizens in their daily lives, particularly in cross-border situations and in border regions. The large number of complaints and enquiries the Commission receives every year as indicated by Eurobarometer surveys, discussions with stakeholders, as well as the outcome of a public consultations in 2010 provide ample evidence of the many obstacles standing in the way of citizens’ enjoyment of their rights. Even if the free movement of persons and the right to work in a different Member State of the EU is considered as being a fundamental right linked to EU citizenship, problems created and caused by mobility can be felt on a daily basis. These problems can be caused e.g. by differences in education standards and grants for students as well as the difficulties to recognize a foreign qualification, but also different social security, pensions and tax schemes, family law and inheritance legislation as well as nationality matters can make the daily life of a migrant worker enormously difficult and often financially unattractive. These obstacles are even more evident for non-EU citizens who want to study, work or provide services in the EU or are entering the territory of a Member State as a refugee or asylum seeker. In these cases the European dimension of migration and asylum legislation and policies next to the various systems in force in the Member States have to be considered, in the light of fundamental human rights standards.
Key research areas: Free movement of goods, persons, capital and services; EU citizenship and fundamental rights; coordination between European and national social security, pension and tax systems; buying or inheriting property; recognition of diplomas; international protection of asylum seekers.
- Conflicting coordination rules in the case of cross border Employment (2014-2016). This project aims to develop a new approach towards fine tuning the coordination rules with regard to employment, social security, pension and taxes applicable in transnational employment relations, thereby focusing on the posting of workers. The main focus lies not on the coordination rules for determining the applicable legislation. The project aims to evaluate the difficulties arising from the existing dis-coordination of the applicable rules, for example in terms of double burdens for the employer/service provider/employee, and seeks to propose solutions to solve them.
- Towards a more rights-based EU asylum law and policy: Challenges and changes? (2014-2016). This project examines the implementation of the new EU asylum legislation in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to investigate to which extent it addresses current deficiencies with regard to the human rights protection. It pays special attention to the position of families with children and unaccompanied minors, in the light of international obligations and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights.
- European Social Policy network. This is a ‘fusion’ between the former network on social policy and social inclusion and the former network on MISSOC (Mutual Information System on Social Security Coordination). I act as a core member in the MISSOC team as the responsible person for the legal quality of the information provided by the MISSOC correspondents (i.e. representatives of the ministries of Social Affairs and Health Care of all the 32 EU Member States). The project is financed by the European Commission.
- Fresso network. This is a ‘fusion’ of the former TRESS network (Training and Reporting on Social Security coordination) and the former network on the free movement of workers. In this network I act as a national expert which means writing country reports, providing input for comparative analytical reports, answering ad hoc questions of the European Commission, organizing seminars etc. The project is financed by the European Commission.
- Marital Captivity; Bridging the Gap between Religion and Law (2014-2019). This project aims at mapping the issues of marital captivity in the Netherlands and looks at the required legal policy to be developed. All issues are looked upon from an (inter) national legal, IPR and comparative point of view. Four social partners, being the foundation Femmes for Freedom, the Proefprocessenfonds Clara Wichmann, Atria (knowledge institute for emancipation and women’s history) and the Association for Women and Justice, will work together. The research consists of four separate projects for which three researchers will be appointed.
- India-EU Migration. Developing a knowledge base for policymaking on India-EU migration (2011- 2014). This project is conducted in cooperation with the European University Institute, the Indian Council of Overseas Employment, (ICOE) and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, (IIMB), and aimed at consolidating a constructive dialogue between the EU and India on migration covering all migration-related aspects.
- Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy. MACIMIDE researchers Rainer Prokisch and Marjon Weerepas are members of the Expert Group on removing tax problems facing individuals who are active across borders of the EU (TAXUD EC).
- The Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross Border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM)
- Centre for European Policy Studies
- Open Society Foundations