23 January 2009
EESC calls for concerted effort to remove barriers to mobility
Leila Kurki, President of the EESC's Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship, participated on Thursday 22 January 2009 in the opening panel of the Informal Council of Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs in Luhacovice in the Czech Republic. The theme of the panel was "Mobility – a bridge between the labour market demand and the supply of working skills".
In her statement, Ms Kurki focused on a number of aspects that have been the object of EESC opinions. She said that job-to-job mobility requires a functioning system of flexicurity, best secured through collective agreements and legal security. The social partners should have a privileged role in the European Commission's consultations and definition of this concept.
Member States and the Commission should explore ways of enhancing adaptability through internal flexibility which can play a key role in advancing productivity, innovation and competitiveness in line with the renewed Lisbon strategy.
She deplored the low geographical mobility within the EU and said that the restrictions to mobility that some old Member States maintain for newcomers should be abolished as rapidly as possible.
Referring to an EESC opinion presently being drawn up at the request of the Czech presidency on the outstanding barriers to mobility, she mentioned that legislative, administrative, educational and fiscal barriers should be addressed but she also recognised that psychological and linguistic barriers as well as the general attitude towards migrating impede mobility. Besides, coordination of social security systems is a key element for mobility of employees in the EU.
For more details, please contact:
Christian Weger at the EESC Press Office,
99 rue Belliard, B-1040 Brussels
Tel.: +32 2 546 9396/9586; Mobile: +32 475 75 32 02
The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 344 members, who are appointed by the Council of Ministers.