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European researchers in motion

The European Union rightly strives to level out member states' ability to attract foreign scientists and to generally boost the mobility of its researchers, which – as studies show - remains limited (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe November 2007). Practising what they preach, the European Commission and the countries participating in the European Union's Framework Programme for Research, created the EURAXESS Jobs Portal, which was launched at the end of June 2008. EURAXESS serves as a one-stop shop for researchers seeking to advance their careers and personal development by moving to other countries. In addition to information on training and jobs, the new electronic gateway is intended to become the entry point to a host of practical information on living, working and relaxing in the European countries involved.

This may sound familiar to readers who are versed in the fragmented field of information portals and those familiar with previous measures. Indeed, the new initiative is an improved re-launch of 4 existing efforts under a common banner:

  1. the European Researchers' Mobility Portal (launched in 2003),
  2. the ERA-MORE Network of 200 mobility centres in 35 countries that since 2004 have provided assistance to researchers and their families,
  3. the European Charter & Code for researchers and a Code of Conduct for their Recruitment issued by the Commission in 2005, as well as
  4. the ERA-Link initiative of 2006, which networks European research communities outside Europe.

The EURAXESS initiative will certainly have a considerable immediate impact. But as Commissioner Potocnik stressed in his inauguration speech, “we will need to keep an active and sustained policy at both national and European levels if the momentum is to be maintained (…)”.

Commissioner Janez Potocnik’s speech on 24 June 2008