Increasing mobility across borders

19/05/2014

One of the five prioritized areas in the STRING 2030 strategy is ”Barriers for cross border cooperation”. STRINGs role in this is that we will build on and cooperate with the cross border organizations that are already working intensely in this field: the Öresund Committee, the Fehmarnbelt Committee and Region Sønderjylland-Schleswig.

Picture:www.oresundskomiteen.dk

STRING has asked these three organizations to prioritize the “top 3” barriers for cross border activities, which, when it comes to rules, culture and administration, are centered around the labor market and the free mobility of the labor force.

The following was highlighted by the three regions:

1. Access to individual, personal counseling for employees and service providers.
2. Recognition of  vocational training and qualifications across borders
3. Fast and reliable public processing of required documents  for short term employment

The three cross border organizations emphasize that the job of minimizing the barriers for cross border mobility is an ongoing process, as it is a general experience that new, national legislation often will lead to new barriers when it comes to cross border labor markets and activities.

Item number one is primarily a matter of resources, whereas two and three requires changes in legislation and administration that is dealt with in for example Nordisk Råd and in the national legislations and administration. Therefore regulation of these matters should build upon bi-national agreement and EU initiatives.

In order to solve these issuse, the STRING Political Forum has agreed the following:

– To work for an increased national and EU funding of information offices in the border regions between Sweden and Denmark and Denmark and Germany

– Joint regular (once a year) meetings with the EU Commission stressing the problems in the cross-border labor markets

– That STRING in cooperation with the three organizations urge the Swedish, Danish and German state to establish high level working groups that can sort out the problems and suggest solutions  when it comes to mutual recognition of vocational training and skills, especially for legally regulated professions especially in health care and social work.

–  Likewise STRING and the three organizations should urge government and local administration to establish a “one stop” point of administration that can deal with the administrative regulations around short term employment across borders. Given the nature of the labor market in the future this type of employment will become more and more frequent in a knowledge based economy.