In 2016, more than 1.4 million people in the EU lived in one country and worked in another. This figure has been steadily increasing over the years, with a rise of eight percentage points from 2015 to 2016 alone.
These cross-border workers are faced with a number of specific obstacles on a daily basis, such as different national practices, social security systems, taxation rules and legal systems in general. Cross-border public transport is often also less developed than in-country systems, which impedes job mobility further.
Under the umbrella of EaSI, the EU programme for employment and social innovation, EURES helps cross-border workers to overcome these obstacles by providing financial support to cross-border partnerships.
These partnerships involve EURES members and partners that agree to work together across borders to support the mobility of workers and employers. Organisations that are not part of the EURES network can also participate if they are relevant within the regional job mobility market. Partners usually include public employment services, social partners and organisations such as universities, business associations, trade unions and chambers of commerce.
Under the 2017 call, 9 cross-border partnerships involving 13 countries are currently receiving EaSI funding. A number of other partnerships are also active without EaSI support.
Those nine cross-border partnerships being supported by EaSI are:
- Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands (Région Wallonne and Vlaams Gewest/Düsseldorf, Köln and Münster/Oost-Nederland and Zuid-Nederland)
- Spain and Portugal (Galicia/Norte)
- Northern Ireland and Ireland
- Germany, France and Switzerland (EURES-T Oberrhein)
- Belgium and the Netherlands (Scheldemond)
- Denmark and Sweden (Øresund)
- The Czech Republic, Germany and Poland (EURES-TriRegio)
- Spain and Portugal (Extremadura/Alentejo)
- Spain and Portugal (Andalucia/Algarve)
The main aim of these partnerships is to share information and advice on cross-border job mobility with jobseekers and employers, offer placement opportunities and provide recruitment services. Pools of experts are available to support workers at each stage of their career and answer any questions they may have about the practicalities of working across the border.
The partnerships also monitor the flow of mobility across their respective borders, monitor the development of the job market and identify obstacles that may hamper true work freedom within the regional cross-border job market.
Each year, the partnerships carry out numerous activities in support of both jobseekers and employers. Current highlights include coaching for jobseekers in the 50+ age range, cross-border apprenticeship schemes and a new job-matching app for vacancies along the Belgian-Dutch border (as of autumn 2018).