“Want to live, work or study in another Member State?” asks the news crew of the Citizen Signpost Service (CSS) which has, since 2002, been helping thousands of Europeans as they trek across the Union in pursuit of new prospects.
If you have not already seen the signs in metro stations and other public spaces around Europe's capitals, 2006 is the European Year of Workers' Mobility. It celebrates the European Internal Market and, especially the freedom of movement for work or study within it.
|The key to a new life working or studying in the EU.|
The European Commission set up the Citizen Signpost Service to help people encountering difficulties or with queries on the Internal Market or on mobility issue. To date, more than 13 000 queries have been handled and/or assistance rendered. The latest initiative by the CSS team is the new on-line newsletter, called You're on the move in Europe!
Subscribers learn about CSS and what citizens stand to gain from the service and from the EU's mobility schemes, in general. Quoting the Chinese proverb, “He who asks a question may be a fool for five minutes, but he who never asks a question remains a fool forever”, the newsletter shows how it can be of use in everyday matters, and that there is no harm in asking.
For example, a British citizen living in another EU country recovered €429 from a telecom operator who overcharged him. A CSS legal expert referred the person to the relevant EU legislation and explained how the Council Directive (93/13) on unfair terms in contracts applied to his case. The person was also made aware of the local European Consumer Centre and other private consumer organisations.
The CSS team has been called on to answer queries in a wide range of fields, including studying, training and carrying out research in other EU countries; buying goods or services on the Single European Market; conditions for travelling throughout the EU; equal rights and opportunities for men and women in the Union, and more.
Researchers in Europe are fortunate enough to have their own dedicated ‘Mobility Portal' and news service, such as the Europe4Researchers Newsletter. The latest issue, March 2006, features stories on ERA-Link which helps US-based European researchers stay in contact with the research scene back home, what the EU is doing to help women develop careers in the sciences and engineering, and a focus on R&D in Israel, among others.
For information about researcher rights in the EU, visit the European Charter for Researchers site, via the Mobility Portal. Young scientists should also see what funding and help is available for them through the Marie Curie Actions in the EU's Framework Programmes for research.
CSS Newsletter, Research DG services