EU Commissioner Laszlo Andor made a speech at the European University Institute in Firenze on June 24, 2014 addressing the question of Labour mobility in the EU.
His conclusions in the speech were:
Cross-country labour mobility is not a panacea that would help the European Union overcome the growing divergence in labour market situations, but it is a phenomenon that helps increase employment and economic output.
We should not overestimate the potential of labour mobility in Europe as an adjustment mechanism to macroeconomic shocks and imbalances. Mobility is first of all a right. People certainly should not find themselves in situations where they are economically forced to move. After all, the Treaty on European Union establishes the objective of balanced economic growth throughout the EU.
However, it is right for the EU and its institutions to support people who voluntarily want to move to another Member State to work or look for work.
More than that, I would argue that EU institutions have an obligation to counter false claims about cross-country mobility in Europe and to explain the advantages of mobility even to sceptical audiences.
At a time when chauvinism is gaining strength across Europe, it is particularly important that the EU institutions play their role.
Mobility strengthens the European economy, and it also helps people to develop a common European identity in addition to national and local identities.
The full text of the speech is here: