With more and more people moving freely between EU countries, the opportunity to live and work abroad has become a reality for many Europeans. Since the agreement first abolishing internal borders in 1985, the European Commission has been working to help people do so more easily.
Free movement and job mobility is crucial to the EU. Europeans can now travel across most of the EU without carrying a passport and can live in most EU countries, enjoying the same rights as nationals of the host country.
“Working in another European country gives individuals the chance to learn a new language, discover a new culture and develop new skills”, says employment commissioner Vladimir Špidla.
To raise awareness of the opportunities brought about by free circulation, last year the Commission launched a "European Year of Workers’ Mobility". Throughout 2006, numerous initiatives kicked off around Europe. One example is the new EURES portal, which hosts over 1 million job offers across the EU. The EU has also developed a number of media tools providing practical information on a wealth of subjects for young people, workers, businessmen and travellers within the EU.
Currently, the Schengen principles (named after the Luxembourg town where the first agreement was signed) are fully applied by 13 EU countries. Temporary restrictions still limit the movement of workers from the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. These restrictions are set for a maximum period of seven years but in most of the EU will probably be lifted earlier.
Your Europe (the portal to on-line European and national public services)
Ploteus (Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space)
Travelling in Europe