DP10107 | How far away is a Single European Labor Market?

Publication Date

10/08/2014

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Abstract

A Single European Labor Market, particularly involving the free movement of workers within Europe, has been a goal of the European community since the 1950s. Whereas it may entail opportunities and drawbacks alike, the benefits?such as greater economic welfare for most citizens?are supposed to outweigh the losses. However, over fifty years after the aim was first established, a Single European Labor Market has not yet been achieved. This paper gives an overview of current European macroeconomic trends, with a particular focus on the Great Recession, and also explores the drivers of and obstacles to labor mobility. Complementarily, it analyses the results of a unique opinion survey among labor market experts, as well as formulates policy recommendations to enhance mobility. The development of a Single European Labor Market is also discussed in relation to the German model.