Finding the right approach to human movement in Europe

Human movement has shaped Europe’s development. Merchants, artists, scholars, and other movers have crisscrossed the continent for centuries, fostering economic and cultural growth. The early modern rise of nation-states certainly placed new constraints on human movement, ushering in an era of overseas emigration and colonisation. As overseas frontiers became closed, the challenge of human movement in Europe intertwined with the catastrophes of the twentieth century, particularly in the eastern regions.

The post-war introduction of free movement within Europe marked a radical transformation. Despite initial concerns and complications, such as during the Brexit saga, free movement’s remarkable success has cemented it as a cornerstone of European integration, with little controversy today. Tensions have arisen regarding immigration from outside Europe, which states have struggled to regulate and control – ensuing in tightening restrictions at the continent’s edges and fuelling discord within the European Union.

By examining the successes and failures of human movement in Europe, we can uncover the right approach to this crucial question, promoting human flourishing both within the continent and around the world.

This website offers a wealth of resources to enable you master the complexities of human movement in Europe. Here, you can stay up to date on the latest research and policy debates, while receiving expert guidance on specific challenges your organisation may be facing in this area.

Become a learner on and gain full access to all three courses, podcast recordings, and available publications (upon request) for one full term for just €300 (25% discount). By joining the mailing list, you can stay informed about new publications, podcast recordings, and courses. If you believe that contributes to the goal of improving policymaking about migration in Europe and educating about this opportunity, consider donating.

Dr Emmanuel Comte is a senior research fellow of the European Programme at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy in Athens (ELIAMEP), a professorial lecturer at the Vienna School of International Studies (Diplomatische Akademie Wien), and a research associate of the research centre on the history of contemporary international relations at Sorbonne University in Paris (Sirice).

‘The French historian, who has taught and worked since his doctorate at Berkeley, the EUI in Florence and … the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, … [has produced a] ground-breaking [book] in a very relevant field of European integration’.Prof. Philipp Ther, University of Vienna.

‘Comte is an accomplished research historian with unusual gifts for comparative history; students at UC Berkeley also praised him as a concerned, enlightened, and effective teacher.’ – Prof. John Connelly, University of California, Berkeley.