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Creating a European Labour Market

EPP/CoR Policy Paper: Citizen and business mobility across regions and cities October 2013


Citizen and business mobility across regions and cities The ability to move from one region or country to another is crucial for solving Europe's employment problem. However, mobility requires not only readiness on the side of workers, but also adapted social security schemes, dedicated training and responsible employers. In order to increase employment rates, the Europe 2020 Strategy calls for the “promotion of labour mobility across Europe". The European Employment Strategy shares this target with the aim of creating better and more jobs throughout the European Union. In April 2012, the European Commission presented its “employment package” in order to respond to the financial crisis and the unemployment situation in Europe. Creating a genuine EU labour market is one of the main objectives. It also calls for improved labour mobility and better ways to match jobs with job-seekers. Moreover, the European Commission states its full commitment to removing obstacles to free mobility. EURES – THE EUROPEAN JOB MOBILITY PORTAL – is a cooperation network between the European Commission and the Public Employment Services of the Member States. It provides information, advice and job-matching services to workers and employers as well as to citizens who want to move and work abroad. Making EURES a “true European placement and recruitment tool” is one of the most central goals of the current employment package.

THE SINGLE MARKET ACT II "The single market can do more for European citizens and businesses... This is our chance to use our golden asset, the single market, to see our social market economy be competitive and thrive again". Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services

For European consumers the Single Market means more choice at lower prices. For citizens, the Single Market has given them the capacity to travel freely, to settle and work where they wish. For young people it has opened up the opportunity to study abroad and for the 23 million companies in the EU the Single Market has opened up access to 500 million consumers and generated foreign investment. However, despite these achievements, practical and legal barriers to the mobility of citizens, business activities and investment funding still persist. "There are problems with transposition and the lengthy process of implementation of single market legislation. Furthermore, rules do not necessarily work well in practice, even if they have been transposed at national level. We have to manage this better if we want to compete!" Markku Markkula, Rapporteur on Better Governance of the Single Market


With the Single Market Act II, the European Commission is proposing to: • develop the EURES portal into a fully-fledged cross-border job placement and recruitment tool • introduce provisions to mobilise long-term investment funds for private companies and longterm projects • modernise insolvency proceedings, starting with cross-border cases, and contribute to an environment that offers second chances to failing entrepreneurs. THE EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY is the EU's growth strategy for the coming decade. In a changing world, we want the EU to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the Member States deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Concretely, the Union has set five ambitious objectives - on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy - to be reached by 2020. Each Member State has adopted its own national targets in each of these areas. Concrete actions at EU and national levels underpin the strategy.

AN AGENDA FOR NEW SKILLS AND JOBS: A FLAGSHIP INITIATIVE OF THE EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY To make Europe's labour markets function better and to deliver the right mix of skills, the Commission proposes concrete actions that will help to ensure the right labour market conditions are in place for job creation such as less administrative burdens or lowering the taxes on labour and mobility. “For our economy to grow and remain competitive we need to give people the right skills for the jobs of the future and the necessary opportunities. Providing flexibility and mobility in this day and age is a must.” Constance Hanniffy, EPP Coordinator for Agenda for New Skills and Jobs, Offaly County Council and Midland Regional Authority, Ireland

YOUTH ON THE MOVE: A FLAGSHIP OF THE EUROPE 2020 STRATEGY Through learning mobility, young people can acquire new professional competences and improve future employability. In order to extend opportunities for learning mobility to all young people, the Commission created a “Youth on the Move” website for information on opportunities for leaning and mobility in the EU and developed a European skills passport. To combat obstacles for employment mobility, the Commission will implement a pilot project called “Your first EURES job” to test new ways to help young people find a job anywhere in the EU and create a “European Vacancy Monitor”. “Europe’s regions and cities are an integral part of the Youth on the Move Flagship. By enabling youngsters to study and work abroad, they can truly benefit from being an EU citizen." Malina Edreva Lazarova, EPP Coordinator for Youth on the Move and Sofia Municipal Councillor, Bulgaria


THE EUROPEAN YEAR OF CITIZENSHIP 2013 The European Year of Citizens is dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. Since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, freedom of movement has been at the core of these rights.

"The European Year of Citizens is an opportunity for us to listen and learn from you what you want and how we can build the European Union of the future together." Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice and Citizenship

EU citizens are entitled to: • • • • •

look for a job in another EU country work there without needing a work permit reside there for that purpose stay there even after employment has finished equal access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages

"The majority of EU citizens are not fully aware of their rights granted by European Citizenship. With cooperation with local and regional authorities, citizens can benefit from many rights wherever they live." Roberto Pella, rapporteur for the CoR opinion on the EU Citizenship Report

CITIZEN MOBILITY The free movement of persons is one of the Four Freedoms which comprise the EU internal market. Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Court of Justice.

EU nationals may also have certain types of health & social security coverage transferred to the country in which they go to seek work and it may be possible to have professional qualifications recognised abroad. Local and regional authorities are the promoters and implementers of social and employment policies. Moreover, they are often responsible for reception and integration policies. BUSINESS MOBILITY Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular, are disproportionately affected by complex administrative and legal requirements and therefore more likely than larger firms to turn down crossborder opportunities because of them. The central principles governing the internal market for services are set out in the EC Treaty. This guarantees to EU companies the freedom to establish themselves in other Member States and the freedom to provide services in a different EU Member State to that where they are established.

EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions www.epp.cor.europa.eu


EPP Policy paper: Citizen and Business Mobility across Regions and Cities