MSCA Individual Fellowship

Roberta Perna gets a Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for her project EU-TRHEADS

The EU-TRHEADS project - EU Citizens' Transnational Rights and Health-related Deservingness at the Street-level - led by Roberta PERNA, post-doctoral student at CEDEM - Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Migrations - (IRSS / Faculty of Social Sciences) of ULiège, wants to study the origin and the way bureaucrats discriminate against migrant EU citizens who need access to public health care.


he recognition of transnational healthcare rights of EU migrant citizens is a precondition for free movement within the Union. Although progressive coordination has been fostered by EU laws, the existence of bureaucratic barriers affecting the realisation of EU citizens’ rights at the point of access to Member States’ healthcare systems has been frequently reported. EU-TRHeaDS investigates how, why and to what extent street-level bureaucrats discriminate against EU migrant citizens who require access to public healthcare. The study will combine qualitative policy analysis methodology with a survey experiment with street-level workers operating at the front-line of healthcare services in two Belgian Regions and two Spanish Autonomous Communities. In doing so, it will isolate the causal effect of citizens’ identity markers on street-level decisions, while assessing the impact of different political contexts and types of healthcare systems on street-level work.

Theoretically, EU-TRHeaDS links the street-level bureaucracy perspective in public administration studies with the nascent debate on health-related deservingness to test the institutional, political and individual determinants of street-level decisions. Empirically, it fills two gaps in the welfare-mobility nexus scholarship, shifting the focus from welfare to healthcare entitlements, and focusing on implementation practices rather than on countries’ formal policies. Methodologically, it provides a comprehensive approach to the study of street-level decisions, carrying out an original comparative research that combines qualitative and experimental methods. Substantively, EU-TRHeaDS unveils how the complex equilibrium between EU citizens’ transnational rights and Member States’ bounded healthcare systems materialises, which is critical in times of renewed debates on “Social Europe” and the challenges posed by COVID-19 to intra-EU mobility.

Supervisor: Jean-Michel LAFLEUR, Deputy Director of CEDEM

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

The Individual Fellowship Projects of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions are European postdoctoral fellowships of excellence awarded to brilliant researchers wishing to develop their scientific career through a mobility experience in Europe rich in scientific exchanges and teaching.

The University of Liège has already been awarded several dozen projects of excellence funded by this program.


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