Reform of the European jobs network EURES

EURES in a nutshell

Launched in 1993, EURES is a network for co-operation between the Commission and public employment services in Europe. It serves to exchange vacancies and job applications and information on living and working conditions.

EURES consists of a website and a network of around 900 employment advisers in all participating countries: 28 EU states, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It accounts for around 150 000 placements every year.  

The aim of the reform is to provide better job search and recruitment services across Europe. It aims to boost much-needed intra-EU labour mobility.

The reform proposal was presented by the Commission on 17 January 2014.

Following an agreement with the European Parliament, the Permanent Representatives Committee approved the new rules on 2 December 2015. 

The new rules will modernize the EURES portal, which will become an up-to-date mobility tool using the latest IT technologies, accessible for all. They will lead to an increase in the number of job vacancies and jobseekers' CVs available through EURES.

They will also introduce automated matching of jobseekers' skills and job openings.  

Why do we need it?

Previously not every EU country made all job vacancies published at national level available to the EURES internet portal and there was no automated exchange of jobseekers' CVs at European level. 

This meant that jobseekers and employers had access to a limited number of job vacancies and CVs

Both workers and employers were often not aware of EURES and the services it offers. Employment services in the member states, which are often the first point of contact, were not required to inform clients of what EURES can do for them and how it can do it.  

In addition, member states did not exchange enough information on labour shortages and surpluses, which hampered targeted cooperation in the EURES network. This, in turn, did little to address labour market imbalances in Europe, whereby some countries suffered from high unemployment while others faced labour shortages.    

The new rules will address these shortcomings by turning EURES into a true European placement, matching and recruitment tool. The modernised EURES network will make information on jobs across Europe more easily accessible and offer better support to both jobseekers and employers.      

New rules

Benefits for jobseekers and employers

The range of services offered to jobseekers and employers will be extended to include: 

  • more personalised career and recruitment advice
  • help with job search and staff hiring
  • information on social security, tax payments and other relevant rules
  • information on post-recruitment assistance such as language courses

This will complement the services already offered, which cover information on job offers or advice on drafting CVs, applications and job vacancies. 

Under the reformed rules, a person who is looking for a job abroad will benefit from the same level of support as a person looking for a job in his or her country. Anyone who contacts an employment service in a member state will get basic information about the EURES network and the counselling and advice services it offers.  

New requirements for EU countries

Member states will be required to make available to the EURES portal:  

  • all job offers available with public employment services and those offered by other organisations involved, including apprenticeships and traineeships
  • jobseekers' CVs that are available with public employment services and other organisations involved provided that individuals concerned agree to their personal data being transferred 

In order to ensure quality and protect minors, member states can exclude traineeships or apprenticeships which have a mainly educational focus.

Membership of the platform

The range of EURES members and partners will be widened.

Private employment organisations can join the network and their vacancies will be advertised on the web portal together with those of the public ones. Profit-making organisations have to provide all services, e.g. vacancies, CV´s to the portal and as well as support services to jobseekers and employers, unless they can justify to the national authorities that they are not able to provide all three services.

Non-profit organisations can choose among the three options.

Public employment services will also offer all services and will furthermore ensure that all users who are not IT-skilled can have also an offline access to information.

Also involved in the network are: trade unions, employers' organisations and other relevant actors in the labour market. Representatives of the social partners are involved at EU level but also at national and the cross-border level.