Abstract: This editorial presents a general overview of the thematic issue “The Lived Experiences of Migration: Individual Strategies, Institutional Settings and Destination Effects in the European Mobility Process,” based on the rich qualitative data produced in the Growth, Equal Opportunities, Migration and Markets (GEMM) project. The qualitative component of the project focused on the ‘lived’ experiences of migration. The main contribution of the articles in this issue is to demonstrate the multiplicity of actors and structures involved in the migration process, and to recognize the important role that space plays in the life-trajectories of people on the move. Perceiving the migration process as a learning experience allows for a deeper look into the complex renegotiation of cultural and political boundaries that migrants experience in the destination.
Keywords: Central-Eastern Europe; cosmopolitanism; EU mobility; identity change; language; migrant motivations; migrant recruitment practices; social capital; social imagination; social networks; prospective migrants; Southern Europe