EURES in cross-border regions
Launched in 1994, EURES is a European network of employment services designed to facilitate the free movement of workers. The network has worked hard to ensure that European citizens can benefit from the same opportunities, despite language barriers, cultural differences, bureaucratic obstacles, the diversity of employment legislation and the lack of recognition of qualifications across Europe. The cross-border issue is a major one in a community of 27 countries. EURES encourages cross-border partnerships and is developing several experiments.
EURES in cross-border regions
The EU’s internal border regions cover 40% of its territory and are home to almost 2 million cross-border commuters. According to the latest report on labour mobility within the EU, more than 1.3 million people in the Union live in one country and work in another.
Nevertheless, cross-border workers can face a number of obstacles in their daily lives, such as different national practices, social security systems, tax rules and legal systems. In addition, public transport is often less developed in cross-border regions than at home, further hampering people’s ability to work abroad in the EU.
EURES helps cross-border workers overcome these obstacles by providing financial support for cross-border partnerships, under the aegis of the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).
In these partnerships, EURES members and partners work together across borders to increase the ability of workers to work abroad and of employers to make this possible. Organisations outside the EURES network may also participate if they can help in this respect. Partners typically include public employment services, employer groups and organisations such as universities, professional associations, trade unions and chambers of commerce.
In 2022 and 2023, 7 cross-border partnerships, involving 9 countries, received ESF+ funding. In addition, several other partnerships are operating without EU financial support.
The general aim of the partnerships is to provide jobseekers and employers with information and advice on work and recruitment/employment across borders, to offer placement opportunities and to provide pre- and post-recruitment services.
Teams of experts are available to help workers at every stage of their career and to answer any questions they may have about the practicalities of working across borders.
The partnerships also monitor the flow of workers across their respective borders and labour market developments, and identify any obstacles that may hinder the free movement of workers within the regional cross-border labour market.
Each year, the partnerships carry out numerous activities to support jobseekers and employers.
Eures Transfronterizo Extremadura-Alentejo is a project that SEXPE and IEFP (Instituto do Emprego e Formaçao Profisional de Portugal) have been developing since 2017 with the aim of offering an information and assistance service to jobseekers, employees and self-employed people who live on one side of the border and are looking for a job, working or carrying out part of their activity on the other side.
It also offers an information and recruitment service to employers interested in recruiting or posting workers to the neighbouring country.
Areas covered: Spain (Andalucía) - Portugal (Algarve)
EURES-T Galicia/Nord de Portugal (ES-PT)
This cross-border association was set up in 1997. It is involved in a series of initiatives aimed at facilitating the cross-border mobility of workers and employers in the Galicia/Northern Portugal Euregion, in order to make this geographical area a single market for employment.
Since its creation, the following activities have been carried out
creation of a network of « EURES advisers », experts in transnational and cross-border mobility from the various partner organisations (Xunta de Galicia, IEFP, Universidade de Vigo, ACISAT, see below), who offer job seekers, workers and employers in the Galicia-Northern Portugal border region, placement, information and advice services;
producing documentation and information packs on specific aspects of cross-border mobility (social security, taxation, unemployment, equivalence of qualifications, creating your own job, etc.);
organisation of specific seminars and information days devoted to the rights and obligations of workers and entrepreneurs operating in a cross-border context;
implementation of cross-border vocational training courses for the unemployed;
analysis of data on the needs of the cross-border labour market, flows of cross-border workers and obstacles to mobility;
creation of specific, permanent working groups, made up of managers and experts from administrations such as the Social Security, Labour Inspectorate and Ministry of Finance of Galicia and Portugal, with the task of detecting obstacles to mobility and implementing the necessary measures to overcome them.
The EURES Cross-Border Andalucía-Algarve service was created in 2017 to increase the visibility of the EURES network and its services in the cross-border area through a programme of actions co-financed by the European Commission to promote the mobility of workers and employers between the two regions. EURES Cross-Border members provide information, placement and recruitment services to jobseekers, workers and employers, while monitoring mobility flows and any obstacles that may arise in the two regions.
Areas covered: Spain (Andalucía) - Portugal (Algarve)
EURES-T Oberrhein Upper Rhine (DE-FR-CH)
Locations covered: Switzerland (Nordwestschweiz, Solothurn, Jura) - Germany (Baden-Baden, Stadtkreis, Karlsruhe, Stadtkreis, Karlsruhe, Landkreis, Rastatt, Freiburg im Breisgau, Stadtkreis, Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, Emmendingen, Ortenaukreis, Lörrach, Waldshut, Landau in der Pfalz, Kreisfreie Stadt, Germersheim, Südliche Weinstraße, Südwestpfalz) - France (Alsace)
The partnership was established in 1999 to support and promote the European cross-border labour market.
As part of EURES-T Upper Rhine, labour market players from Germany, France and Switzerland come together:
Employers’ associations Trade unions
Countries and local authorities
Services in partnership extend over the entire Upper Rhine region (Great East, Southern Palatinate, Baden and North-Western Switzerland), where every day more than 93,000 cross-border commuters between Germany, France and Switzerland go to work.
EURES-T Upper Rhine provides advice and support on all questions relating to the cross-border labour market:
job search and placement
Dual education / cross-border study education and training opportunities
labour, social and tax law
Living and working conditions
Locations covered: Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) - Slovenia (Goriška, Obalno-kraška, Primorsko-notranjska)
The Euradria network is active in promoting the mobility of jobseekers in the EU, particularly in the Euradria region, in the cross-border area between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia in terms of the free movement of workers.
With the help of a network of partners specialising in different categories of employment issues (employment services, employers’ associations, trade unions, etc.) and EURES advisers, Euradria provides help and advice to jobseekers and employers in the region who are looking for specific staff with the right skills.
In addition, it promotes measures aimed at specific segments of the cross-border labour market, such as job retention, solving problems in cross-border employment and growth opportunities in the cross-border region.
Project objective, aims and results
The objective of the project is:
to contribute to improving employment in the Euradria region (Obalno-kraška region, Notranjsko-kraška region, Goriška region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Istria, Primorsko-goranska region),
increase information and employment opportunities for cross-border workers,
improve the staff search process for employers in the three countries and
provide qualified support to all partners in the region.
The final objective of the project is to contribute to the formation of the common labour market in the Euradria region by identifying the flow of mobility in the cross-border area between Slovenia, Italy and Croatia and to perceive and eliminate the obstacles that are still present in the field of cross-border employment.
Areas covered: Belgium (Prov. Antwerpen, Arr. Dendermonde, Arr. Eeklo, Arr. Gent, Arr. Sint-Niklaas, Arr. Brugge, Arr. Oostende) - Netherlands (Zeeland, West-Noord-Brabant, Midden-Noord-Brabant)
The cross-border partnership was established in 2003. The partners provide a wide range of activities for jobseekers, employers, workers and the general public. The main activities are as follows:
dissemination of EURES information and advice to jobseekers, employers and workers, on a daily basis or through meetings, workshops or training sessions;
integrated promotional activities focusing on the benefits of mobility on the labour market;
organisation of symposia on current issues relating to cross-border mobility in the labour market;
mapping of shortages and bottlenecks in the Eures Scheldemond cross-border labour market;
correlation between the various cross-border mobility issues and search for possible solutions;
organisation of symposia dealing with current cross-border mobility issues;
organising training meetings for EURES advisers from the public employment services and partners, as well as promoting the exchange of job offers, CVs and good working practices;
participation in job fairs and organisation of the Eures Scheldemond job fair.
Cross-border EURES in the Grande Région (BE-FR-DE-LUX)
Areas covered: Belgium (Walloon Region) - Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland) - France (Champagne-Ardenne, Alsace, Lorraine) - Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
The Greater Saar-Lor-Lux-Rhineland-Palatinate-Wallonia-German-speaking Community of Belgium, located between the Rhine, Moselle, Saar and Meuse rivers, has a total surface area of 65,401 km².
It has a population of 11.2 million, representing 3% of the total population of the EU-15, and contributes the same proportion to the EU’s GDP.
Shared between the Latin and Germanic cultures, the Grande Région is also located at the centre of the European railway axis of development and features an urban, rural and industrial network, a source of rich and permanent economic and cultural relations.
This is reflected in significant flows of cross-border workers and consumers. In total, there is a movement of around 200,000 cross-border workers, including 160,000 to Luxembourg alone.
In this area, a EURES cross-border partnership has been set up with 20 partners. Nearly 30 EURES advisers work every day to support jobseekers, frontier workers and employers in exercising their right to cross-border mobility.