The Myth of European Mobility

The Europe concept was sold to the masses on the premise it would allow them to live and work in any European country with no or little restrictions, and thus, experience full mobility throughout a united European Union. With growing non-European immigration throughout Europe, we wanted to know how easy it actually is for a European to establish residency in another European country.

So we put it to the test. 10 guys holding EU/EEA citizenships in Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Spain and the U.K. sought to establish residency in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. For the sake of clarity, we define "residency" as the ability to freely live, work, and be part of society in a host country.

The legal basis for residency is outlined in EU Legislation, namely, Directive on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, and Right to move and reside freely within the EU.

Overall, the majority of our guys, holding European passports, and thus, all Europeans, were not able to establish residency in most other European countries, with the exception of Nordic nationals who were usually able to establish residency in Nordic countries relatively easily (with the exception of Norway). 

Here's a breakdown per country.

Þór Þórðarson

Reykjavík, Iceland