Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Second Department

Hispanic Studies

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

Reader 2

Cesar G. Lopez

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© 2012 Stephanie E. Lester


More than 300,000 Spaniards have left Spain since 2008, the majority being the well-educated youth. The exodus of youth represents an unusual and concerning phenomenon for Spain. This thesis explains the factors contributing to the emigration of Spanish well-educated youth, and from there extrapolates on implications for the nature of an integrated market in the European Union. It concludes that push-pull economic factors and an affiliation with the European Union internal market encourage intra-European migration. Additionally, political disillusionment within Spain erodes the sense of national loyalty among youth to further promote emigration. The Spanish case demonstrates that within a community as integrated as the European Union, tensions between international markets and national sovereignty are bound to permeate the community. This tension is demonstrated by the validity of both terms "national crisis" and "functioning European Union market" to describe the emigration.