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[Check Against Delivery]
European Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
Presentation of EURES reform
Brussels, 17 January 2014
Giving people more choice in terms of how and where they live their lives is a crucially important part of the European Union and of its Single Market.
One area where the EU has given people more choice is whether they wish to work in another EU country. With unacceptably high levels of unemployment in the EU, more people are looking at this possibility. Particularly as we estimate that there are still some 2 million unfilled vacancies in the EU despite the very high levels of unemployment.
The Commission seeks to ensure that people do not face any discrimination or obstacles when they go to work in other Member States. To this end, the Commission monitors the proper application of EU social security rules that ensure workers are not penalised when they move from one country to another.
We have also proposed a Directive to require Member States to take measures to raise awareness about the right for people from other Member States to work without facing any discrimination concerning pay, working conditions or access to jobs. Member States would also be obliged to put in place ways for people to obtain redress if they did encounter discrimination.
I am very pleased that this Directive is due to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the EU's Council of Ministers in the coming weeks, less than a year after we proposed it.
Another way in which the Commission assists people to exercise their choice of whether or not to work in another EU country is to help them to be aware of job opportunities in other Member States.
For over twenty years the pan-European job search network EURES
has helped European jobseekers to find a job in another Member State through its web portal and its network of 850 advisers throughout the Union, accounting for around 150,000 placements every year.
Labour mobility within the EU has increased significantly the last years.
Furthermore, with the current high levels of unemployment it is more necessary than ever to address labour shortages that make some vacancies difficult to fill in some places.
Today I am pleased to present a new proposal to improve EURES for both job seekers and employers.
Our first aim is to ensure that through EURES jobseekers can be aware of a maximum number of job vacancies throughout Europe and that employers have access to a maximum number of job seekers' CVs.
To this end, we are proposing to increase the numbers of job vacancies available through EURES for example by publishing vacancies that until now have only been available at local or regional level. The proposal would also allow EURES to show details of job vacancies available through private employment services.
To increase the numbers of jobseekers' CVs available through EURES, we have proposed that they can be not only posted directly by jobseekers themselves, as now, but can also be posted by public employment services as long as the jobseekers give their consent.
Secondly, the proposal would facilitate recruitment by introducing automatic matching of vacancies and CVs through EURES. This would be based on the new classification system for competences and occupations, which the Commission launched in October 2013. This system serves as a 'common language' among the different classifications currently used by Member States.
Thirdly, the proposal would ensure that all jobseekers and employers registered with employment services, wherever they were in the EU, would receive the same basic information on EURES services.
Fourthly, the proposal would improve the services offered to jobseekers, such as information on the country to which they wish to move or assistance with their job applications, as well as the services for employers, such as guidance on recruiting abroad and the further integration of workers.
Finally, the proposal would facilitate exchange of information between Member States, namely on labour market surpluses and shortages, so as to better target the activities of the network on the ground.
Whether or not an individual would like to move to another Member State to work remains a matter of personal choice. No one is obliged to so. But for those people that would like to explore job opportunities in another European country, these improvements that we have proposed to introduce to EURES would make it easier for them to do so.