When we mention the term European labour market mobility we are referring to the geographic movement of workers within the EU. In 1968 it first became possible for EU citizens to move and work freely in the EU without the need for a permit. This was a positive symbol for European integration and EU citizens also have a positive attitude towards the movement on a whole. It allows for EU citizens to search for better jobs, have the opportunity to achieve higher incomes and possibly also increase their standard of living by moving to other EU member states.
However, despite this, mobility within the EU tends to be low and according to the geographical and labour market mobility report by the European commission, only 2% of EU citizens live in another EU member state. What could explain such a low percentage? Possibly cultural differences, language barriers and even problems getting university degrees and professional qualifications recognised all discourage EU citizens from actually moving to another EU member state despite their positive attitude towards the idea of it. Additionally, monetary costs of initial movement could discourage some EU citizens and temporary regulations have limited the movement to some member states.
The idea of free movement within the European labour market is therefore a positive one but in reality is it one which many EU citizens will actually take part in and benefit from?