Brussels, 17 January 2014
Employment: Commission proposes to improve EURES job search network
The pan-European job search network EURES would be strengthened to provide more job offers, increase the likelihood of job matches and help employers, notably small and medium businesses, to fill job vacancies faster and better, under a proposal just presented by the European Commission.
Once adopted by the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, the proposal would help citizens to make the most informed choice possible when it comes to moving abroad for work. "The Commission’s proposal represents an ambitious step to fight unemployment in a very practical way. It would help to address imbalances on labour markets by maximising the exchange of available job vacancies throughout the EU and ensuring a more accurate match between job vacancies and job seekers. The reformed EURES would facilitate labour mobility and contribute to achieving a truly integrated EU labour market", Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, highlighted.
The proposed new rules would make EURES more efficient, recruitments more transparent and cooperation among Member States stronger, notably by allowing EURES to:
These improvements would benefit jobseekers and businesses of all sizes, but particularly SMEs, since currently they may not be able to afford to recruit abroad without the services that EURES provides free of charge.
The proposed EURES Regulation is one a series of measures to facilitate free movement of workers, together with the Commission's April 2013 proposal to improve the application of workers' rights to free movement (IP/13/372, MEMO/13/384) , due to be adopted imminently by the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, and the November Communication on free movement of people (IP/13/1151, MEMO/14/9).
Today, about 7.5 million Europeans work in another Member State, only 3.1% of the total labour force. Around 700,000 people on average move every year to work abroad within the EU, a rate (0.29%) much lower than those of Australia (1.5% between 8 states) or the US (2.4% between 50 states).
The European Vacancy Monitor shows that despite record unemployment in Europe, 2 million vacancies were open in the first quarter of 2013. While the existence of open vacancies is a feature of labour markets dynamics, a significant part of these open vacancies may be due to labour shortages which cannot be overcome locally
However, mobility has significantly increased during recent years. Since 2005, the number of EU workers active in another Member State has increased up to 4.7 million. Furthermore, mobility intentions have also risen: the number of jobseekers registered on the EURES portal has jumped from 175,000 in 2007 to 1,100,000 in 2013.
Set up in 1993, EURES is a co-operation network between the European Commission and the Public Employment Services of the EU Member States, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and other partner organizations. It has more than 850 EURES advisers that are in daily contact with jobseekers and employers across Europe.
The network also operates through the EURES portal. The portal is unique in the EU as it is free of charge and gives information on living and working conditions in all participating countries in 25 languages. The portal allows access to more than 1.4 million job vacancies and 1.1 million CV's at any time in a given month.
The EURES network accounts for approximately 150,000 placements per year (50 000 through its advisers and 100 000 through its portal).
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