European Job Mobility Action Plan (2007-2010)
The Commission proposes, in its action plan, a more integrated approach to job mobility focused on four elements: improving legislation and administrative practices, ensuring support for mobility by public authorities, strengthening the EURES network, and raising public awareness.
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 6 December 2007 - Mobility, an instrument for more and better jobs: The European Job Mobility Action Plan (2007-2010) [COM(2007) 773 final - Not published in the Official Journal].
Although European workers seem more willing to be mobile than before, job mobility rates are increasing relatively slowly in the European Union (EU). Uncertainty as to the advantages of mobility and the numerous administrative and legal barriers present are among the reasons for this. It is thus essential to implement new actions to encourage mobility. This is why the Commission proposes, with a view to tackling the new challenges of mobility, an action plan consisting of four strands.
Action Plan 2007-2010
Improving existing legislation and administrative practices is the first objective. Four actions are proposed in this field:
- examining whether Community legislation needs to be amended to allow workers to move freely, according to the new mobility patterns, without losing their social protection;
- legally strengthening the role of the TRESS network of independent experts in the area of social security coordination at European level (dissemination of knowledge, reports and expert advice). Consultation with stakeholders and an impact assessment should determine whether administrative practices or regulatory provisions need to be amended;
- further simplifying national cooperation and administration practices (exchange and consultation of information electronically, launching an electronic version of the European health insurance card, etc.) in order to accelerate and facilitate the reimbursement of migrant workers’ social security expenditure;
- concluding the proposals on the portability of supplementary pension rights in order to improve the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights.
Moreover, combining flexibility and mobility (flexicurity ()) should contribute to the Lisbon Strategy, by making it possible for more workers to find more and better jobs.
Ensuring that the national, regional and local authorities promote mobility at their respective levels is the second objective. In this respect, the Member States should:
- make mobility a priority objective of their national strategy for employment and lifelong learning ;
- learn from best practices through mutual learning programmes which may receive EU Cohesion Policy funding. In this context, an inventory of such programmes will be carried out and the possibility of developing European mobility programmes will be examined;
- use the European Qualifications Framework, promote Europass and develop the European Credit Transfer System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).
In addition, regional and local authorities, education and training centres and civil society will be encouraged to remove practical obstacles and to promote ‘fair mobility’, which respects labour standards and legal provisions.
Moreover, several actions are proposed to extend the scope and quality of the services provided byEURES in the area of worker mobility, namely:
- increasing the provision of information and raising awareness on the principle of equal treatment and respect for labour standards within European markets;
- stepping up the collection of strategic information in order to strengthen its analytical capacity;
- enhancing the assistance provided to mobile workers in the EU, in particular with regard to specific categories of workers;
- extending, in certain cases, some of these services to third-country nationals.
Action is planned on three fronts in order to increase citizens’ awareness on mobility:
- organising annual ‘European Job Days’ not only to better inform citizens about their rights and the benefits of mobility but also to step up exchanges among the different stakeholders;
- launching a ‘European Job Mobility Partnership’, and setting up a network to promote mobility;
- incorporating into the PROGRESS programme support for the funding of pilot activities, the exchange of best practice, the dissemination of results on new developments and the emergence of innovative programmes.
Job mobility must make it possible to confront the new challenges related to an ageing society and a constantly changing market, all the more so if one considers the new opportunities for both workers and employers following EU enlargement. The Lisbon Strategy and the European Employment Strategy have, furthermore, officially recognised increased geographical and occupational mobility as essential means of adapting in the context of rapidly changing labour markets. This Communication is intended to build on the series of initiatives to promote mobility. The Commission wishes to learn from the experience gained through the 2002 Action Plan for Skills and Mobility and the 2006 European Year of Workers' Mobility.