One European in five would consider moving abroad for work, but far fewer actually do so. So why do people want to work in another country and why do they end up staying at home?
According to a Eurobarometer survey on geographical and labour market mobility, most Europeans – 60% – think moving countries or regions is good for EU integration. Half think it’s good for the economy.
Danes are the most open to relocating, with more than 50 percent saying they see themselves working abroad at some point in the future. A quarter of Britons think they’ll work abroad, while Italians are the most travel shy (4 %).
In fact just one European in ten has already lived abroad for work either within or outside the EU, while 13% have done so for education and training.
Better quality of life and employment are the most common reasons for considering working abroad. The report says that 48% of Europeans would consider moving regions or countries for work if they lost their jobs at home.
Despite the economic recession and very high jobless in Europe currently only 11.3 million people live in a EU member state other than their own. That’s just 2.3 per cent of European citizens.
Every European has the right to work and live in another EU. But there are still legal, administrative and, moreover, practical obstacles to exercising that right.
Home is certainly where the heart is.
Some 39% of Europeans are discouraged from working abroad because it would mean leaving home. 27% do not want to impose large changes on their families, whilst 21% do not want to leave their friends.
Having to learn a new language puts 19% of Europeans off the idea of relocating. Other factors against moving are that friends or family have had a bad
experience abroad (3%), and believing that the economic climate abroad is worse than
in one’s own country (4%).
Europe Direct is how you can get more information about Europe. There’s a free phone number, a web site and information centres all around Europe.