Magazine article European Social Policy

Free Movement of Researchers : Potocnik Targets Better Mobility

Magazine article European Social Policy

Free Movement of Researchers : Potocnik Targets Better Mobility

Article excerpt

Breaking down the barriers faced by researchers who work across Europe, including the opening up of cross-border recruitment, easing the social security and pension requirements and ensuring the portability of grants - these are the aims of the communication Better careers and more mobility: a European partnership for researchers' (2008/317), unveiled by the European Commission on 27 May.

The communication is a step towards creating the so-called fifth freedom', or freedom of movement of scientists and academics across the EU, confirmed by the 2008 spring European Council. "European research potential is still not fully realised. We have to act quickly and retain European talent," said EU Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik.

The Commission claims that the EU labour market for researchers is fragmented and that young Europeans' interest in scientific careers is on a decline. That is why it aims to establish a "partnership" for coordinated action between the EU executive and the member states, which would "create a genuine European labour market for researchers".

According to Potocnik, the initiative should achieve progress, among others, in the following areas by 2010:

- opening up of recruitment by institutions to all European researchers. This, Potocnik said, would entail a full portability of grants along the principle the money follows the researcher', ie the winner of a grant could transfer it to a new institution even outside his/her member state. …

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