HR professionals support the European Commission's drive to improve the cross-border movement of workers in Europe, believing it will help to alleviate skills shortages.
The EC wants to set up a business-led task force that will highlight the barriers faced by workers who want to work in another European country. There are significant problems with the recognition of qualifications in different countries, for example.
The task force will also promote spreading job vacancies information in other countries.
The EC proposals will be presented at the Stockholm summit of the 15 member states in March.
Nigel Connolly, HR director of airline Easyjet, welcomed the task force. He said, "This would make employment much easier for us. The EC also needs to look at standardising employment contracts as each country has different legislation."
The EU's workforce has been stationery, with less than 0.5 per cent of employees moving to other countries each year. This compares with 2-3 per cent of workers moving from one state to another in the US.
The task force would look at bringing information to the public about moving between countries as well as providing more details about mobility and the skills gap. Its proposals also include making pensions more portable, which would require European countries bringing into line the different ways they tax pensions.
The Swedish government, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, also wants to use the Stockholm summit to promote the participation of women and older people at work.
By Karen Higginbottom