8.5.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 131/35


Tuesday 25 October 2011
Promoting worker mobility

P7_TA(2011)0455

European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2011 on promoting workers’ mobility within the European Union (2010/2273(INI))

2013/C 131 E/04

The European Parliament,

having regard to Articles 21, 45 and 47 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Articles 15, 21, 29, 34 and 45 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights,

having regard to Article 151 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (1),

having regard to Council Directive 91/533/EEC of 14 October 1991 on an employer’s obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship (2),

having regard to the International Labour Organisation's Core Labour Standards,

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems (3),

having regard to Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (4), the 2008 report on the application of Directive 2004/38/EC (COM(2008)0840) and the Council resolutions of November 2007 and April 2009 regarding Directive 2004/38/EC,

having regard to the Commission follow-up document on guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (COM(2009)0313),

having regard to the draft interim report entitled "Comparative study on the application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States" requested by its Committee on Legal Affairs and delivered by the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS),

having regard to the Commission Communication on guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC, as well as its intention to publish simplified guides for EU citizens and making the best use of the Internet,

having regard to Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications (5),

having regard to the Commission communication of 6 December 2007 on ‘Mobility, an instrument for more and better jobs: The European Job Mobility Action Plan (2007-2010)’ (COM(2007)0773),

having regard to the Commission communication of 18 November 2008 on the impact of free movement of workers in the context of EU enlargement (COM(2008)0765),

having regard to the Commission communication of 16 December 2008 on ‘New skills for new jobs; Anticipating and matching labour market and skill needs’ (COM(2008)0868),

having regard to the Commission communication of 13 July 2010 on ‘Reaffirming the free movement of workers: rights and major developments’ (COM(2010)0373),

having regard to the Commission communication of 13 April 2011, ‘Single Market Act - Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence "Working together to create new growth" ’ (COM(2011)0206), which includes workers’ mobility as one of its twelve key instruments,

having regard to the European 2020 Strategy and in particular to its flagship initiatives ‘An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs’ and ‘Youth on the Move’,

having regard to the conclusions of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 27 November 2008 on ‘Free movement of persons: abuses and misuses of the right to free movement’,

having regard to the conclusions of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of 9 March 2009 on ‘The professional and geographical mobility of the work force and the free movement of workers within the European Union’,

having regard to its resolution of 2 April 2009 on problems and prospects concerning European Citizenship (6),

having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2008 on the European Job Mobility Action Plan (2007-2010) (7),

having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on the identification of outstanding barriers to mobility in the internal labour market (8),

having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0258/2011),

A.

whereas living and working in a different Member State is one of the Union's fundamental freedoms - irrespective of one's ethnic origin -, a basic component of Union citizenship and recognised by the Treaties, yet statistics show that still too few people take advantage of this right despite the specific initiatives taken to support workers' mobility,

B.

whereas mobility of EU workers should be encouraged throughout the European Union where there is an employment need,

C.

whereas EU workers can face difficulties and challenges when seeking employment in a host Member State,

D.

whereas the right to live and work in another country of the Union is one of the Union's fundamental freedoms, a basic component of Union citizenship recognized by the Treaties, yet according to statistics and notwithstanding specific initiatives to support workers' mobility, there are still too few people taking advantage of this right,

E.

whereas current workers mobility rate is not sufficient to enhance labour markets efficiency in the European Union; whereas only 2.3 % of people in the EU reside in a Member State other than the state of which they are citizens, but 17 % intend to take advantage of the free movement in the future and 48 % would consider seeking jobs in another country or region in the event of redundancies,

F.

whereas the free movement of workers represents a positive socio-economic example for both the EU and the Member States, being a milestone for EU integration, economic development, social cohesion, individual upgrading at professional level, fighting against prejudices, racism and xenophobia and can counteract the negative effects of economic crisis and better prepare for the challenges of global change, by engaging all stakeholders at decisional level together with the civil society into dialog,

G.

whereas promoting mobility of workers is a positive contribution to reaching the employment objectives set in the Europe 2020 Strategy; invites the Commission to include labour mobility in the flagship initiatives and the Member States to include labour and geographical mobility dimensions when designing their National strategies and reform programs,

H.

whereas insufficiently flexible labour laws impair workers' mobility in Europe,

I.

whereas, according to the Commission communication of 18 November 2008, mobile workers from the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 have had a positive impact on the economies of Member States which host mobile workers,

J.

whereas the recent evolution of our societies notably due to industrial change, globalization, new work patterns, demographic change and the development of means of transport, call for a higher degree of mobility among workers,

K.

whereas no negative effects have been reported in those Member States which have not applied the transitional measures concerning free movement of workers originating from Member States that acceded to the EU in 2004 and 2007, but a number of Member States have decided to continue applying restrictions in their labour markets with respect to nationals of Romania and Bulgaria,

L.

whereas, despite EU legal acts and programmes aimed at promoting free movement of workers, there are barriers to the full implementation of this fundamental freedom (e.g. social, linguistic, cultural, legal and administrative barriers, poor return policies that do not meet the needs of migrant workers, lack of recognition of mobility experience, difficulties concerning the employment of spouses or partners, and a delayed process for the recognition of diplomas and professional qualifications),

M.

whereas in times of economic crisis professional and geographical mobility of workers can help reduce unemployment by matching labour supply with demand, contributing to job creation opportunities, to adapting the economy, the society and the demography to structural changes and to promoting economic growth and EU's competitiveness; to this aim, considers that current procedures for recognition of professional qualifications represent a big obstacle to workers' mobility in the European Union;

N.

whereas these barriers and restrictions infringe a fundamental right of workers, make the recovery of the EU economies more difficult and can lead to counterproductive effects, such as more illegal work, an expansion of the black economy and worker exploitation,

O.

whereas discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation is forbidden under Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights,

P.

whereas the current economic crisis has had negative effects on mobility and has hit temporary workers and part-time workers hardest, women being one of the most affected categories,

Q.

whereas strong gender differences are visible as regards workers’ mobility within the EU (men report moving because of a new job or job transfers far more often than women do, respectively 44 % as against 27 % (9)); whereas there is a need for better monitoring of the mobility phenomenon, based on data disaggregated by gender,

1.

Points out that Commission report COM(2008)0840 identifies persistent infringement by Member States in the implementation of Directive 2004/38/EC, which affects the exercise of free movement of workers, and this situation has given rise to numerous individual complaints, petitions, and more than 40 questions from the Parliament, as a result of which the Commission has brought five infringement proceedings for incorrect application of the Directive;

2.

Welcomes Commission communication COM(2010)0373, which describes and explains the current state of play regarding free movement of workers, but regrets the lack of concrete measures or solutions to the problems of mobility;

3.

Welcomes initiatives undertaken by the Commission such as the ‘WO.M.EN Mobility Enhancement Mechanism’ and invites it to extend and improve the scope of projects aiming at increasing women’s labour mobility;

4.

Calls upon the Commission, to further promote labour mobility by presenting a long-term, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, mobility strategy to ban all existing legal, administrative and practical barriers to free movement of workers; requests a consistent, efficient and transparent policy focused on the requirements of the labour market and economic trends;

5.

Calls on the Commission to enhance the mobility of the workforce by planning and promoting further strategies to provide simplified information concerning the rights of migrant workers and the benefits of mobility for the overall process of development and for the economies of both the EU and its Member States. Raising the awareness of employees, members of their families and interested parties about their rights and opportunities and the tools available as regards freedom of movement is a key factor for effectively implementing EU legislation;

6.

Takes the view that mobility can only be effectively promoted through substantial improvements in respect of solidarity and shared responsibility on the part of the Member States and through the formulation of a clear regulatory framework governing legal migration;

7.

Calls on the Member States to remove obstacles to workers’ mobility by offering persons (the majority of whom are women) who follow their spouses or partners to another Member State appropriate services such as courses to facilitate their integration into their new social and cultural environment, for example language courses and vocational courses;

8.

Notes, however, that mobility should remain voluntary; stresses that negative side effects of increased mobility, leading to brain drain and youth drain, as well as negative impacts on family cohesion and children when one or both parents are working abroad, should be better mitigated at EU level;

9.

Calls on the Member States to create mechanisms of cooperation aimed at preventing the devastating effects on families, especially on children, caused by the separation from their parents and the distance between them;

Administrative simplification and legal aspects

10.

Given the provisions of the Treaties and the existing legislation, recalls that Member States have a responsibility to simplify the administrative procedures regarding the exercise of free movement of workers with a view to an optimal implementation of this right and to avoiding unjustified, unnecessary or cumbersome administrative procedures restricting the application of this right;

11.

Urges the Commission to promote the streamlining of administrative practices and administrative cooperation so as to allow synergies between national authorities;

12.

Encourages Member States to create more effective channels of communication between migrant workers and the corresponding State services, so that workers have full access to information regarding their rights and obligations;

13.

Stresses that ‘workers’ rights’ can be better implemented if and when an EU migrant is employed in a legally paid activity in a host Member State;

14.

Underlines that women workers moving abroad for jobs involving child or elderly care, such as babysitters, au-pairs, nannies or nurses, are often employed by private entities such as families or family members and thus end up working without a contract or illegally, and consequently have no rights and benefits linked to social security, healthcare etc. available to them;

15.

Is concerned by the poor transposition and implementation of current directives on free movement of workers, especially Directive 2004/38/EC with respect to the right of entry and residence for third-country family members, and cumbersome administrative procedures and additional residence documents (work permits, evidence of satisfactory accommodation) inconsistent with Directive 2004/38/EC;

16.

Calls on the Commission to fully exercise its prerogatives under the Treaties, by continuous and comprehensive monitoring of the implementation of Directive 2004/38/EC, including, if necessary, the exercise of its right to initiate infringement procedures against non-compliant Member States;

17.

Calls on the Member States to review their provisions regulating the transitional periods for access to their labour markets, which, in the long term, can have negative effects on the fundamental values and rights enshrined in the EU Treaties, such as freedom of movement, non-discrimination and solidarity and equal rights; therefore welcomes the recent decision of some Member States to fully open their labour markets to some of the Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and deplores the recent legislative proposals in other Member States intended to undermine the rights of workers from the Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007; calls on the Commission to investigate whether such policies infringe EU law;

18.

Calls on the Commission to strengthen the current legal framework on recognition of professional qualifications set out in the directive 2005/36/EC;

19.

Calls on the Commission to revise Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 of the Council of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (10) in order to take into account the proposals made by the European Parliament in this resolution;

20.

Calls on the Commission to ensure that member states apply the 'Brussels I'-regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001) regarding jurisdiction recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters; stresses the importance of the 'Brussels I'-regulation in regard to sanctions and fines for exploitation of workers;

21.

Calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States implement Directive 2004/38/EC without any discrimination, including on grounds of sexual orientation; reminds the Commission of previous calls to ensure freedom of movement for all EU citizens and their families, regardless of their sexual orientation;

Links with other policies

22.

Notes that the right of free movement of workers cannot be viewed in isolation from other rights and basic principles of the EU and that respect for the European social model and the rights guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights, as reflected in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, will offer the possibility of decent jobs, adequate working conditions, including protection and safety at work, social security rights, equal treatment, reconciliation of family and working life and the freedom to provide services; stresses that the right to vote in local, regional and European elections is an essential element of these rights and calls for better implementation; notes that the right to vote in national elections of the Member States of origin may be lost, believes consideration should be given to this issue;

23.

Calls on the Commission to produce a scoreboard presenting the obstacles faced by Union workers wishing to make use of their right to free movement and how they are being tackled in the Member States, so as to assess whether such obstacles are dealt with thoroughly and effectively;

24.

Calls on the Commission to thoroughly evaluate the current economic situation in the Member States with regard to labour markets; calls on the Member States to better integrate migration policies with respect to labour in order to address labour shortages and with the view to boost in-house production;

25.

Congratulates the Commission to linking workers' mobility with the Europe 2020 Strategy and takes the view that this is of crucial importance to boost welfare within the EU through sound and sustainable job creation;

26.

Stresses the importance of equal treatment of workers, combined with the adequate protection of labour rights, to be in accordance with the rules in force laid down in national legislation and collective agreements in the Member State concerned. Believes that the principle of ‧equal pay for the same work in the same place‧ in conjunction with gender equality should apply throughout the EU in order to prevent wage and social dumping; Stresses that rights will only be beneficial for all if properly implemented and enforced; To these aims, calls on the Commission and the Member States to make sure that free movement is never exploited with a view to unequal treatment, wage and social dumping;

27.

Considers that both EU and Member State legislation should be coordinated more closely in order to prevent any types of barriers to implementation and use of the right of free movement of workers;

28.

Urges the Commission and the Member States to guarantee, taking into account subsidiarity, the correct implementation of the existing legislation on non-discrimination, to take practical measures to enforce the principle of equal treatment of mobile workers, and to fight prejudice, racism and xenophobia;

29.

Urges the Member States and the Commission to strengthen EU policy on fighting direct and indirect discrimination, exploitation of EU migrant workers in the European Union and abuse of their rights due to their insufficient knowledge of languages and laws applicable to their employment in the host Member State;

30.

Encourages Member States to increase the attention which authorities responsible for monitoring the labour market devote to protecting the rights of mobile workers, particularly by improving education and raising of awareness in the field of labour law;

31.

Considers that amendments to the legislation of Member States relating to social security, the care system and taxation should be examined in advance to ascertain what impact they will have on the free movement of workers; calls therefore for the introduction of a requirement to perform a frontier impact assessment providing detailed information about obstacles to freedom of movement;

32.

Points out that the increased cross border mobility also demands the active involvement of the social partners in order to provide the workers concerned, especially those temporarily working abroad, with adequate and effective information, support and protection regarding their social and labour rights;

33.

Considers that, for the efficient implementation of all policies tackled by the free movement of workers, action must be coordinated, especially in the fields of completion of the internal market, coordination of social security systems, supplementary pension rights, protection of workers, cross-border health care, education and vocational training, tax measures such as those designed to avoid double taxation, and anti-discrimination;

34.

Underlines that labour restrictions constitute an obstacle to the functioning of the internal market and that the economic crisis demonstrates the need to promote free labour mobility;

35.

Reiterates that, in order to avoid inconsistencies in the area of the EU internal market, for the purpose of employment Member States must give preference to Union citizens and may give preference to third-country nationals who apply for highly qualified employment, as set out in Council Directive 2009/50/EC of 25 May 2009 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment (11); stresses the importance of rejecting applications for an EU Blue Card in labour market sectors for which the access to workers from other Member States is restricted on the basis of transitional arrangements;

36.

Calls on a greater coordination between the European Institutions and the national ones to better inform and provide assistance to the citizens and monitor how the right of free movement of workers is being transposed into practice and used by individuals in order to accelerate the implementation of labour mobility;

37.

Takes the view that adequate social protection systems greatly facilitate the geographical and occupational mobility of workers and that the social inclusion of mobile workers and the social reintegration of returned workers must be included in the policy on labour mobility; underlines that, to this end, the recognition of previously acquired rights and a greater understanding of the differences between the systems of the individual Member States are indispensable and must be promoted;

38.

Calls on Member States to tackle the issue of false self-employment among mobile workers; stresses the need to give these workers access to rights and protection;

39.

Calls on Commission and Member States to combat xenophobia against all EU workers by providing the means for integration and information and promoting understanding, cultural diversity and respect in Member States hosting EU mobile workers;

40.

Stresses that an efficient implementation of the free movement of workers calls for coordinated action by the European and national authorities to facilitate and simplify administrative procedures on issues indirectly linked to this right, such as the transfer of vehicle registrations and the guarantee of accessibility of medical records, provision of a comprehensive database on current healthcare practitioner performance competence, avoidance of double taxation, clear rules on the reimbursement of medical expenses, etc.;

41.

Considers that enabling migrant workers to enjoy portable social security rights is essential in ensuring that they effectively benefit from the prerogatives they have acquired;

42.

Considers that the SMEs can act as a trigger for economic recovery and development, being the primary source for job creation; therefore, reiterates the need for an EU commitment to supporting and developing the SMEs (e.g. by the Progress Microfinance Facility), particularly through active labour policies and vocational education and training programmes;

43.

Invites border regions to consider agreements for promoting cross-border labour mobility in order to gain mutual (beneficial) advantages for these regions;

Measures to promote free movement

44.

Calls on the Member States to eradicate the existing transitional barriers regarding free movement of workers for the Member States who joined in 2007; takes the view that these barriers impose double standards, are counterproductive and represent discriminatory measures against European citizens, calling for the preference clause to be effectively enforced for the whole Union;

45.

Takes the view that the mobility of the workforce within the European Union is essential for economic recovery and achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy objectives; urges accordingly those Member States that still impose labour market restrictions in respect of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals to remove them by the end of 2011 in accordance with the deadline laid down in the Treaty of Accession;

46.

Calls for closer and more efficient cooperation between the competent national authorities in checking the compliance of labour contracts with national and EU law; points out that mutual assistance and information exchange have to be guaranteed between the Member States in case of breaches; asks the Commission to supervise this process;

47.

Calls on public authorities and all stakeholders to do their utmost to increase the level of awareness among workers of their rights and the various instruments (labour law, collective agreements, codes of conduct, social security provisions) that regulate their employment relationship as well as their working and living conditions;

48.

Deplores the decrease in labour inspection across the EU; stresses that efficient controls are an essential element to guarantee equal treatment and a level playing field; calls on the Member States to increase labour inspection and give labour inspections sufficient resources; calls on the Commission to improve cooperation and coordination of labour inspections;

49.

Considers that Member States should ensure that the children of EU mobile workers do not face difficulties regarding their nationality or citizenship due to the working choices of their parents, and that the particular needs of the children of mobile workers should be adequately studied to ensure effective policy responses;

50.

Underlines that the Member States should improve the situation of children left behind by their parents and to help them develop normally and benefit from education and appropriate social life;

51.

Expresses its concern for the growing amount of forced labour in the EU which in some areas has close links to organized crime; stresses the need to make forced labour a key priority in the activities of EUROPOL and EUROJUST; urges Member States to increase their joint efforts to control, prosecute and sanction forced labour and make sure that this is covered under criminal sanctions; stresses the need for measures that ensure the protection of victims of forced labour;

52.

Calls on the Commission to explore and publish both positive effects and drawbacks derived from labour mobility for the host and home countries and the EU, from a socio-economic and geographical cohesion point of view, highlighting consequences such as: economical losses, increased undeclared work and abusive working conditions due to unclear legal situation when transitionary measures are in place, lack of awareness of rights among EU citizens and the outcomes due to delayed actions by Member States to integrate EU workers from the 2004 and 2007 integration wave; calls on both the Commission and Member States to avoid the implementation of transitional measures that restrict the free movement of workers and negatively affect the competitiveness of the EU labour markets, for any current member state or upcoming candidate country;

53.

Encourages the Commission to pursue its initiatives aimed at promoting the geographical mobility of young people through learning mobility schemes, using all the designated programs related to the topic;

54.

Welcomes the Commission’s plan to establish a regular systematic assessment of long-term supply and demand in the EU labour markets up to 2020, broken down by sectors, occupations, levels of qualification and countries, and strongly advises the coordination of labour and educational policies between Member States with a view to meeting the targets set in the EU 2020 Strategy regarding job creation and avoiding future indirect barriers that may hinder the exercise of the right of free movement, such as non-recognition of diplomas from other EU countries; The plan should clearly identify labour shortages in the EU in the short, medium and long term;

55.

Calls for appropriate measures to be drawn up and implemented in order to break down continuing discrimination and negative stereotypes such as those affecting workers from eastern and southern Europe and to promote the integration of workers exercising their right to freedom of movement in the society of their host country;

56.

Calls on authorities at all levels to ensure policy support and raise awareness about the possibilities and advantages of mobility, especially among job-starters, stressing the Commission's coordinating role;

57.

Considers that the Member States should facilitate and establish general criteria for the recognition of diplomas and qualifications, as this is very often a source of difficulty for people seeking work in a Member State other than their country of origin;

58.

Deplores Member State policies that actively encourage other EU citizens to leave that Member State; asks the Commission to verify whether such policies are infringing on the right to free movement;

Employment services and information of workers

59.

Acknowledges and stresses the importance of public employment services, and in particular the EURES system and network, for promoting labour mobility across the EU especially in cross-border regions by providing information on job vacancies, on rights and obligations attendant on migration, including immigration, and attendant on frontier work, as well as information on education and vocational training opportunities, working and living conditions; emphasises the special role played by social partners in advising employees in cross-border partnerships; stresses that EURES should remain a means of promoting fair mobility and therefore calls on the Commission to continue to provide financial resources to support the work of the social partners in border regions;

60.

Calls for developing EURES' institutional capabilities and its reinforcement of the one-stop instrument to facilitate mobility of workers and their families;

61.

Is concerned about the reduction of the funds for EURES councillors; calls for the commitment to a long term strategy that allows EURES and its staff to efficiently perform its tasks and notes that this is only possible when funds are increased;

62.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to take the necessary steps to make cooperation between EURES and the corresponding national public authorities more productive and effective;

63.

Encourages Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to promote EURES among citizens, by providing relevant documentation and advice on using it through public job centres, but also by organizing meetings to promote mobility in the framework of higher education;

64.

Considers that information to EU workers about the benefits, rights and obligations deriving from labour mobility should be further improved; calls on the Commission to coordinate its action with national authorities and develop links between EURES and the SOLVIT online problem-solving network, in order to enhance the quality of the service provided to citizens exercising their right to mobility; calls on the Commission and the Member States to set up multilingual advisory agencies for EU migrant workers particularly in places where many of these workers are employed;

65.

Stresses that, when promoting active employment policies, information about learning and training programmes available across the EU they should be given a high priority;

66.

Urges to strengthen the implementation of the Council Directive 91/533/EEC of 14 October 1991 on an employer's obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to the contract or employment relationship (so-called "Information Directive") (12) about the minimum information that workers should receive from their employer regarding their employment relationship, including all relevant provisions concerning their employment situation in the host country;

67.

Calls on the Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to promote the active involvement of the social partners so as to ensure the practical implementation and strengthening of the rights of migrant workers;

68.

Emphasises the need for cooperation between employees and employers in the EURES network;

69.

Calls for greater dialog and coordination among national and regional authorities as they are usually the first source of information for many citizens due to their proximity and knowledge of citizens needs and greater involvement of the social partners;

70.

Calls on Member States to monitor the activities of recruitment agencies more strictly in order to ensure that the rights of mobile workers are not violated or their expectations disappointed, which could hamper the free movement of workers and their social security;

71.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to monitor the situation of agencies and organisations offering jobs to workers from other Member States and to detect potential illegal or black market employment, or agencies or organisations providing fictitious jobs;

72.

Emphasises that, in the context of implementing freedom of movement, employers should be obliged to provide foreign workers with information on workers’ rights in the relevant country of employment. In addition, multilingual advisory agencies must be set up for migrant workers in the Member States;

73.

Calls on the Commission to launch a communication regarding taxation effects on the workers comprised in the scope of this directive, for providing a better understanding and possible solutions to crucial matters that can impede or deter workers mobility;

Gathering skills and knowledge to become more competitive

74.

In order to ensure and improve Europe’s competitiveness, the highest priority must be given to investing in formal and informal education, vocational training, exchanges of working experience and coordinated actions to speed up the process of labour mobility;

75.

Takes the view that active labour market policies and in particular vocational training and life-long learning, must be reinforced as they can contribute to increasing labour mobility, facilitate transitions in times of structural unemployment, and allowing workers to adapt to labour market changes;

76.

Congratulates the Commission on its flagship initiative Youth on the Move and on the launch of the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs and welcomes in particular the pilot project ‘Your first EURES job’ and proposed action for the creation of a European skills passport;

77.

In welcoming the training of youth in the skills necessary for working and living in other countries; takes the view that people have a right to live and work in a country of their choice;

78.

Considers that skills and knowledge corresponding to specific national, regional or local market needs will foster workers’ mobility and requests the Commission to develop a roadmap for demands for skills and a mid- and long-term assessment regarding future jobs, where a match between demand and supply of skills can be provided, as well as mid- and long-term forecasts for labour shortages in selected occupations which may arise as a result of demographic change and the ageing of the population;

79.

Considers that labour mobility is a two-way process; On the one hand, it leads to gathering skills and knowledge through all types of education in order to prepare the active population facing competition when searching for a new job and on the other hand, mobile workers can upgrade their skills and knowledge through labour mobility as they gather more practical experience and knowledge on the new site;

80.

Believes that mobility in particular must be promoted in professional training, as there are still shortcomings in this area; underlines the importance of programmes such as Leonardo and calls on the Member States and enterprises involved in professional training to make more use of these and also to facilitate their use;

81.

Hopes too that the new competences acquired by mobile workers as they move around will be validated so that their increased individual potential will be recognised and their chances of long-term professional inclusion improved;

82.

Takes the view that young workers should not be the only focus and that targeted strategies promoting and facilitating the free movement of different categories of workers, based on their specific characteristics (age, gender, skills, belonging to vulnerable and minority groups) and needs are desired so that mobility can become an option for all categories of workers;

83.

Calls upon Member States to tailor their life-long learning and vocational training strategies according to developments in the labour markets and to provide transferable skills that have a wider coverage in terms of geographical area and knowledge, with a view to properly matching them with the supply of jobs;

84.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to cooperate on achieving higher comparability of school and University curricula and education systems in the EU, through simplified mutual recognition of diplomas, with a view also to promoting mutual recognition of educational qualifications, which is vital; stresses, however, that this is different from the recognition of qualifications for the regulated professions, although it would like to see more liberalised access in general to these professions; welcomes in this context the fact that increasing numbers of cross-border cooperation agreements are being concluded between colleges and universities and calls on Member States to support this development;

85.

Encourages Member States to boost the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in lifelong learning by providing incentives for their respective employees and employers, with particular emphasis on learning languages and the new technologies, in line also with labour market requirements, as most of Europe's workforce is employed in SMEs and in this way it will become more competitive, but this will also strengthen mobility in order to address the failure to fill job vacancies in a number of Member States;

86.

Takes the view that a better synergy must be found between programmes aimed at encouraging the free movement of students, persons undergoing vocational training and trainees and programmes specifically aimed at fostering the free movement of workers;

87.

Encourages Member States, with the assistance of the Commission and the social partners, to create structures for language learning support and also for teaching the cultural traditions of the host Member States for the families of migrant workers, especially since these factors continue to hinder the mobility of European citizens;

88.

Takes the view that an insufficient knowledge of languages (in particular in the case of adults) remains an important obstacle for labour mobility and could lead to increased undeclared work; calls on the Member States to actively promote foreign language teaching and expand it in all categories of schools and on the Commission to pursue its efforts in this area;

*

* *

89.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  OJ L 257, 19.10.1968, p. 2.

(2)  OJ L 288, 18.10.1991, p. 32.

(3)  OJ L 200, 7.6.2004, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.

(5)  OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 22.

(6)  OJ C 137 E, 27.5.2010, p. 14.

(7)  OJ C 45 E, 23.2.2010, p. 23.

(8)  OJ C 228, 22.9.2009, p. 14.

(9)  Eurofound Study ‘Mobility in Europe - the way forward’.

(10)  OJ L 257, 19.10.1968, p. 2.

(11)  OJ L 155, 18.6.2009, p. 17.

(12)  OJ L 288, 18.10.1991, p. 32.