Boosting a European Single Labour Market for Researchers

In the Communication "Better careers and more mobility: a European Partnership for Researchers ", the European Commission seeks partnership with Member States to make the EU a more attractive place for researchers, and allow researchers to be more mobile between countries, institutions, and between the academic and private sectors.
 Boosting a European Single Labour Market for Researchers
According to European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potočnik, "we need to free the potential of our excellent researchers if we are to achieve Europe‘s wider Lisbon agenda ambitions and make the European Research Area a reality. Too many of them have to wait too long for the chance to become independent researchers in their own right due to outdated national legislation and practices. Our vision is of a "fifth freedom"– the freedom of knowledge, where students, scientists, and academics can take advantage of a healthy European labour market and find opportunities in different institutions, sectors and countries at all stages of their careers. What is at stake is whether Europe can remain and develop as a world-class location for R&D in the long term."

It is proposed that the partnership should make a commitment to achieving by the end of 2010 rapid, measurable progress to:
  • systematically open recruitment by research institutions to all European researchers ;
  • meet the social security and supplementary pensions needs of mobile researchers;
  • provide attractive employment and working conditions, such as improved contractual terms, salaries and opportunities for career development;
  • ensure researchers have the necessary skills to turn knowledge into results including by creating stronger links between universities and industry.
The Communication is one of five policy initiatives planned by the Commission to follow up the 2007 Green Paper "The European Research Area: New Perspectives". The results of the public consultation following the Green Paper suggested that a single labour market for researchers should be amongst the top priorities for action at EU level.

Download the communication "Better careers and more mobility: a European Partnership for Researchers".

(Press release 2008-05-27)