New Europa. New Italy STAMPA

Ideas for a European contract of employment

Citizens with work experience in other countries struggle to make their previous contributions recognized. A new kind of EU contract is much needed // Chi ha esperienze di lavoro in altri paesi dell'Ue fatica a farsi riconoscere anzianità e contributi. Serve un contratto unico europeo
Ideas for a European contract of employment

How many people you know worked for a long or short period of time in another European country?

Mostly everyone I know had, myself included. Looking for a job in a different country is often a matter of necessity – more than ever for our younger generations who suffer a tragically high youth unemployment rate in Italy. But in many other cases it is a matter of opportunity. After all, it’s one of the founding principle of the European Union itself: the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, indeed, guarantees citizens the right to freely move within the EU’s internal borders.

But what’s the point in stating such a strong and important principle if practical tools to make it happen in real life are not provided?

To make this right effective – without turning upside-down member States’ whole labour law and legislation – we propose a new kind of contract, which would be added to the existing ones. This contract would be available in any EU country and for every employer. It would allow workers to maintain their seniority and social security contribution in whichever country where they may be working.

Today it is very difficult for citizens who have working experience in other/different EU member States to make their previous contribution recognized in the country of destination. Formally, there is a bureaucratic procedure but a lot of people doesn’t even know about it, and in most cases they give up applying unless they have been working abroad for a long time, since this procedure is too long and complicated.

Allowing people to work freely in any EU country will mean creating a bigger labour market which can be a part of the solution for high unemployment rates. But there’s more than that. Another positive effect would be the contribution to build the sense of European citizenship. The most successful initiative that made people belonging to a wider space than their national borders has been the Erasmus project; with this revolutionary opportunity younger generations started to travel around Europe and to know each other. This is what “building a community” should mean.