New Horizons in Law and Economics series
Edited by Alain Marciano and Jean-Michel Josselin
Chapter 8: Vocational qualifications and the European labour market: the challenges and the prospects
Jean-Baptiste Calendini and Christophe Storaï Granting the citizens of the member states of the European Union the personal right of free circulation and free settlement is a characteristic feature of the process of construction of the European Community such as it was instituted by the Treaty of Rome signed on 25 May 1957. Therefore, recognition of degrees and qualifications is an essential aspect that guarantees the use of that basic right. Even though significant progress has been made in this sphere, there are still a number of dissuasive and often invisible barriers which contribute towards the fragmentation of the European area (Pertek, 1998). In connection with that idea, it would seem judicious to contemplate a more general problem focused on the potential emergence of a vast European labour market as a result of the establishment of the Single Market for goods, services, capital and currency. In addition to the questions one might ask concerning occupational mobility inside Europe, another more fundamental question relating to the institutions and the organization of the employment market in Europe arises: is it possible and desirable to think of a convergence, if not a harmonization, of the employment markets in the member countries of the European Union? The purpose of this chapter is to prepare the ground for an answer to that question1 while identifying the multidimensional constraints of that potential process. For instance, during the 1980s, the governments of the member states have adopted policies aimed at deregulating the labour laws. Whereas the common...
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