The European Commission has tools in place to ensure the free movement of workers but incomplete information on what is happening in practice, and there are weaknesses in the design and monitoring of EU-funded activities, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. The auditors say that better targeting of EU funds would aid worker mobility.
They assessed how the Commission ensures the freedom of movement of workers, and the effectiveness of EU action on labour mobility. They visited the five Member States with either the largest inflows of non-national workers or the largest outflows of workers to other countries, i.e. Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.
They found that the Commission provides useful information on workers’ rights through several channels, but awareness could be improved. While the Commission and Member States have addressed long-standing issues, such as the recognition of professional diplomas, obstacles persist. The level of the data on skills and labour imbalances held by Member States varies, so the Commission is working with them to rectify this.
“This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the free movement of workers,” said George Pufan, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report, “but the tools in place for facilitating labour mobility can be improved, while EU funding is difficult to identify and inadequately monitored.”