EURES at 30: A legacy of labour mobility across Europe

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Published on 2024-06-10 at 12:00
For 30 years, EURES has been connecting jobseekers and employers across Europe. Launched in 1994, this European network of employment services has played a pivotal role in facilitating the free movement of labour within the EU, overcoming employment barriers, and promoting career opportunities across Europe. Check it out and learn more about what this service is about and how jobseekers and employers can benefit.

The European employment services network (EURES) continues to redefine the landscape of European employment. Launched in 1994, by a group of national public services, EURES has been instrumental in fostering the free movement of labour within the EU, overcoming employment barriers and enhancing career opportunities across borders. As EURES marks three decades with its 'Fair Work Anywhere in Europe' campaign, we delve into its journey, achievements, and the pivotal role it plays in the European labour market.

Supporting European jobseekers and employers 

Over these 30 years, EURES has helped countless jobseekers and employers by providing essential services that bridge the gap between talent and opportunities across the EU, EEA countries and Switzerland. The network has proven to be resilient and effective in ensuring the free movement of talent, thereby enriching the European labour market.

Pillars and principles of EURES 

Rooted in the EU's principle of labour mobility, EURES was established to offer seamless access to job opportunities across borders and to disseminate reliable information about labour markets and living conditions in different European states. Cosmin Boiangiu, Executive Director of the European Labour Authority, praises EURES as a mature network that connects diverse corners of Europe, built on decades of cooperation and success stories from both jobseekers and employers.

Adapting to a dynamic labour market 

EURES has shown remarkable adaptability to the shifting dynamics of the labour market, addressing challenges brought by digitalisation, economic crises, and societal changes like the recent pandemic. In 2016, from a network formed from public employment services, it expanded to include various non-public stakeholders, such as social partners, recruitment companies, NGOs, and other organisations, reflecting its progressive approach to modern recruitment needs and labour trends.

Innovative tools for modern challenges 

EURES has introduced several technical innovations that have set it apart as a leader in the European employment services sector: 

  • The EURES portal and its matching engine: This tool aids employers in finding ideal candidates by matching skills across different languages and countries.
  • European Online Job Days: These are online recruitment and information events, organised on a web platform, to facilitate job interviews, making it easier for jobseekers to connect with potential employers in real-time, in different parts of Europe, without the need for travelling.
  • Online chat services: Jobseekers and employers anywhere in Europe can receive guidance from the around 1 000 EURES Advisers in all EURES countries, ensuring bespoke support that transcends geographical boundaries. 
  • Cross-border partnerships: These initiatives between EURES Members highlight the importance of collaborative efforts in solving practical employment challenges across regions. These partnerships not only smooth out administrative processes but also create a supportive environment for job seekers and employers alike.

EURES in numbers

The numbers of EURES can tell so much about the strength of the network: over 4.5 million jobs are advertised and more than 1 million registered CVs on the EURES portal, demonstrating the extensive reach of the service. There is a team of over 1 000 dedicated EURES Advisers and staff. 

Moreover, geographically, EURES operates across 31 European countries, encompassing the EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

From 2020 to 2022, EURES facilitated connections between 5.5 million workers and nearly 400 000 employers.

Forward-looking 

As EURES moves into the next decade, it remains committed to enhancing its services and expanding its reach to meet the evolving needs of the European labour market. The network's ongoing efforts to promote labour mobility and integrate diverse labour forces are crucial for fostering a more cohesive and dynamic European economy. 

EURES' 30th anniversary is not just a milestone but a testament to its enduring legacy and ongoing commitment to making 'Fair Work Anywhere in Europe' a sustained reality. As we celebrate this landmark year, EURES continues to pave the way for a future where every European has the freedom to work and live anywhere within the EU, contributing to a more integrated and prosperous Europe. We invite you to be free and work anywhere in Europe with EURES.

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