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Lecture | LIMS seminar

Migration and International Socialism: Transnational Socialism, Free Movement, and Migration in the early European Parliament

Monday 25 March 2024
Leiden Interdisciplinary Migration Seminars 2023-2024
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Conference room (2.60)


This presentation relates to a chapter contribution for Routledge history's Transnational Socialism and European Integration: The Socialist Group in the early European Parliament, 1952-1973.

Socialists were at the forefront in arguing for an expansion of free movement of workers and protecting migrants’ rights in the early European Parliament but supported safeguards to prevent sudden, mass migrations that might increase unemployment. The Socialist Group revived interwar international socialist support for supranational regulation of migration, now to be carried out by the High Authority and European Commission through a European work office to coordinate labor supply and demand between countries. In emphasizing the human side of migration, the Socialist Group broke with older socialist ideas of using migrants as employment buffers (by tying migration to economic cycles) and called for equal treatment of laid-off community workers during economic recessions. This talk explores how socialist parties problematized migration in the late 1960s, e.g. in the Socialist Group's support for restricting external migration during the economic recession of 1966/1967. In the early 1970s, socialists in the European Parliament wanted to enhance the social and political rights of Third Country Nationals (TCNs: the official term for non-community migrants) and worked to prevent the expulsion of Turkish workers from West Germany. At the same time, they pushed for the creation of a community-employment priority that would discriminate against TCNs and supported the legal separation of free movers from external migrants.


The Leiden Interdisciplinary Migration Seminars (LIMS) aim at fostering further discussion across disciplines on migration-related topics and creating an open dialogue between the speakers and the attendees. The seminars are a platform for those at Leiden University working on migration-related topics. LIMS is associated with Social Citizenship & Migration (SCM), one of nine interdisciplinary programmes launched by Leiden University in 2020.

Interested in attending? Registration is not necessary. For inquires, or to participate in future events, contact Dr. Andrew Shield.

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