Extracts from the press conference by Janez Potocnik on a European Single Labour Market for Researchers
The European Commission will issue a Communication on "Better Careers and More Mobility: A European Partnership for Researchers". The aim of this partnership between the Member States and the Commission is to ensure that the necessary human resources in research are available to sustain and enhance the contribution of science and technology to a dynamic, knowledge based European society. It is essential to establish a single and open European labour market for researchers, making the researcher's career more attractive and ensuring effective "brain circulation" over national borders, between institutions and between academia and the private sector.
The European researchers' partnership 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 the top priority for action at EU level. Highly skilled researchers are key agents for the production, transfer and exploitation of new knowledge and the partnership will address their needs by tackling the systemic human resources weaknesses in Europe's research system. Attractive careers and seamless mobility are essential for researchers but far from being a reality. In practice, transparent competition for recruitment is the exception rather than the rule. Geographical and sectoral mobility tends to be penalised rather than rewarded. And the existing social security measures do not always fit with the specific needs of mobile researchers. This is why so many European graduates and doctorate holders either move away from research careers or pursue research in countries where they find better opportunities - mainly in the United States. The initiative is part of the overall Lisbon strategy aimed at transforming the EU economy towards more knowledge intensive activities. It is a dynamic process which complements and builds on planned or existing initiatives at national and Community levels. SHOTLISTLINK