This article (*) on il Sole 24 ore, probably the most important economical magazine in Italy, about the study of how the Research in Europe is still bounded into national borders has depressed me, but not really surprised.
The first two motivation of this stillness of researchers, and so their research, that comes to my mind are money and power.
As far as I know the monthly wage of researchers in northern Europe is (at least) 3x the southern ones. So why a german, english or norwegian researcher would like to come in Italy? Simply for the love of good food?
Second, the power that each “professor” builds up over the years in his hometown is somewhat a capital that no one wants to leave to another one, or try to rebuild at 50y.o. age somewhere else.
Third, often the laws that keeps money into and around the research are crazy. For example after 7 years in this field I still have to understand the principle of why an european project have to say how I spend money on a project and not spend a word on the results of this project. We have ridiculous occasions of having money for people and not equipment, or vice versa … crazy!
(*) = in italian