On Monday, the European Commission called for a partnership among
European Union member states to further increase mobility of
researchers throughout Europe. The commission’s major recommendations
include opening job opportunities to researchers throughout Europe,
increasing the portability of grants, and improving the transferability
of social security and pension benefits.
how will this partnership open up doors and borders? The Commission
doesn’t say. Not surprisingly, it’s up to the member states to "adopt a
national action plan by early 2009 setting out specific objectives and
actions to achieve the aims of the partnership." The Commission will
then evaluate the success of the partnership in 2010 to determine if
further recommendations, or perhaps legislation, are necessary.
The recommendations come in a report
(officially called a "communication") that’s one of five planned policy
initiatives aimed at creating a "European Research Area." It joins
similar intiatives aimed at the rights of researchers: the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (read more about it on Science Careers in Researchers’ Charter: A Paradigm Leap?) and the "scientific visa" package for non-EU researchers (read more about it on Science Careers in Coming to Europe).