New European Mobilities at times of crisis: Emigration Aspirations and Practices of Young Greek Adults 
The theme of the research project
Greek migration in EU

Even if the establishment of the right to free movement, employment and settlement across the European Union for Greek citizens in 1988 allowed for unrestricted mobility, this never took the form of a major outmigration. Until recently, Greeks were notably registered among the least mobile Europeans.
However, in the context and conjuncture of the crisis affecting the Eurozone as whole, yet shaking mostly its “weakest links”, notably Greece, this seems to be gradually changing. The combined effects of recession, extreme austerity, and a generalized mistrust towards institutions and disillusionment from the political system have redefined mobility intentions in Greece. Despite the previously recorded skepticism, many Greeks were forced by the circumstances to change their views on mobility in a very short time span.

The Greek crisis driven emigration

More than 350,000 Greek citizens appear to have left Greece in the past 7 years heading to various destinations primarily  in Northern and Western Europe. But the crisis does not only feed the resurgence of Greek emigration in terms of volume, but also brings qualitative changes.  A major transformation seems to be underway: migration is now more a matter of need rather than one of choice. Even though the motivations of “crisis” migrants are not limited to mere economic need but are rather framed in a wider context of lack of prospects in the country, as well as positive evaluations of life and work abroad, worsening conditions in the Greek labour market and concerns about employment and income are primary motives for many.

The project

There is extended media coverage of this new emigration, which is presented as an one-way option for certain population segments, notably the young and the highly skilled, and hence a drain of the most dynamic part of the country’s labour force. Despite this media attention, however, little is known about the current intensification of emigration from Greece and its characteristics, as well as the experiences of the country’s new “crisis migrants”.
This study explores the new crisis driven emigration through the perspectives of the key actors, the emigrants themselves. It aims to explore who is emigrating, what alternative mobility strategies are considered and pursued and the reasons underling migration decisions as well as the multiplicity of individual pathways abroad. The project has started in July 2015 and will run until June 2016.
The methodology
The research is organized in an incremental way in three phases, corresponding to respective work packages (WP), zooming in from the general to the particular.
In the first phase, we set the scene by drawing on available statistical data, including two nationwide representative surveys in Greece conducted at the Regional Development Policy and Research Unit. The aim of this initial phase is to provide a global picture of the new emigration wave from Greece by assessing its size, and its regional and demographic characteristics, while exploring its pre-crisis and current dynamics.
In the second phase, 50 in-depth narrative interviews with young adults of different mobility and educational trajectories are being conducted in London and the Netherlands.  Through those interviews we aim to uncover the mechanisms that shape emigration aspirations and mobility practices, highlighting the various complex structural and individual factors at play and the ways they interact in the biographies of the respondents. We explore  the conceptualization of emigration among the key actors (is mobility framed as a success or a failure? and by whom and in what context?), the experiences of those who have emigrated, feelings of belongingness, the development of transnational ties, the flow of remittances, and the impact of emigration on families and gender relations.
In the third and final phase using the knowledge generated from the second phase we have designed an extensive online survey that will be conducted in the Netherlands and London. Due to the lack of a sample frame, transnational populations (such as those addressed in the present study) are impossible to reach using traditional survey modes. To account for this limitation, EUMIGRE adopts an innovative sampling strategy based on the “respondent-driven sampling” (RDS) methodology. According to this methodology a diverse group of respondents, the so-called seeds, will initiate the respondent recruitment in the following manner: once they fill in the online questionnaire, they will be asked to send invitations with a personalized survey link to up to three of their acquaintances in the Netherlands and London. New referrals will be asked to recruit further, creating several chains of referrals up to a sample of 1,000 respondents. After the survey is completed sample biases will be corrected by using information about respondents’ social networks and the process of recruitment.