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.
And 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).