Mobility in Europe
Eurobarometer survey on geographical and labour market mobility, 2005
With the recent enlargement of the European Union, mobility in Europe has become an EU policy issue. In 2005, the European Commission carried out a Eurobarometer survey on geographical and labour market mobility. In the framework of the European Year of Worker Mobility in 2006, the Foundation analysed the findings of the survey and published an overview report and five reports exploring different aspects of the issue.
The overview report highlights four key areas of research: EU policy, geographical mobility, job mobility and barriers to mobility. The five thematic reports deal with job satisfaction and mobility, occupational mobility, voluntary and forced job mobility, the economic benefits of mobility, and factors determining international and regional migration intentions in Europe (see side panel).
- Geographical and labour market mobility represents a major policy challenge for the European Union.
- Too little mobility could lead to a reduction in adaptability and competitiveness whereas too much mobility could distort national labour markets.
- Mobility involves both benefits and losses for the individual, in social and economic terms.
- The main factor discouraging geographical mobility in the EU is the fear of losing one’s social network.
- The main factors triggering mobility are job- and income-related, as well as a desire to ‘discover new things’.
- For both the receiving and sending regions, a high level of mobility is a continuous challenge to social cohesion and economic performance.
- Mobility is both an opportunity and a challenge for Europe and Europe needs to find a balanced solution to these trade-offs in order to reap the benefits of an integrated single labour market.