Since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis, high rates of unemployment have been one of the most pressing problems of Member States in the European Union (EU). By matching job-seekers with employment opportunities, including vacancies in other Member States, public employment services (PES) can help to reduce unemployment, increase intra-EU mobility of workers and combat social exclusion. They can contribute to reaching the Europe 2020 employment target and to implementation of the Youth Guarantee by making available information on training as well as work opportunities.
The EU has a role to play in ensuring close cooperation between employment services, facilitating exchange of best practice between PES in Member States, and in encouraging cross-border mobility for workers, trainees and apprentices. The EU is responsible for the European Employment Services (EURES) network which provides information on jobs, job-seekers and working conditions in Member States.
Recently the European Commission proposed a decision to establish a formal network of PES organisations in Member States to encourage mutual learning. The Commission has also proposed a regulation to modernise and extend the EURES network. In 2014, before the end of the current legislature, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposed decision and to consider the proposed regulation.