Europe's Political Economy

Single European Labour Market Task Force


The Single Market is Europe’s greatest asset, with the potential to provide impetus to exit the current crisis and to bring Europe onto a path of higher and more sustainable economic growth. The Single European Labour Market, based on EU mobility and openness to the rest of the world, is a critical element for realising the full benefits of an integrated EU-wide market, providing companies with the opportunity to meet their human resources needs more efficiently and enabling individuals to realise their full potential. Furthermore, the Single European Labour Market is a pre-condition for making the European Monetary Union work by helping to stabilise macroeconomic variations. At the same time, it should be one of the key drivers to fulfil the ambitions of the Europe 2020 strategy, in particular with regard to employment rates and the Youth on the Move flagship initiative. However, notwithstanding important achievements so far, the Single European Labour Market is still far from being complete – practical and legislative barriers still hamper work mobility.

Against this background, the EPC’s project ‘Completing the Single European Labour Market’ aims to look at how labour mobility should function so that Europe can make full use of its single market and play a leading role in ‘the war for talents’. Visionary and ambitious, the project team seeks to identify what should be done at each policy level and the role of each stakeholder, be it the EU, national authorities, employment agencies or the workers themselves. The goal is to make concrete policy recommendations for overcoming the remaining barriers to EU mobility and identifying the policy areas where Europe can move forward.

To this end, the project will be structured along four main axes:

  • a mapping exercise of mobility trends in Europe;
  • an analysis of costs and benefits of mobility;
  • the identification of specific areas of focus; and
  • the elaboration of policy recommendations.

A series of workshops will be organised to discuss salient issues and identify relevant proposals for next steps, and a publication presenting the key findings of the project will be published in early 2013. The project is supported by ManpowerGroup and involves a wide range of organisations, such as DG Employment and Social Affairs from the European Commission and Eurofound.

This project is coordinated by Claire Dhéret, Policy Analyst.

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