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The "European Year of Workers’ Mobility" was officially inaugurated on 20 February by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Austrian Minister for Economy and Employment Martin Bartenstein and Vladimir Spidla, Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs. It also celebrated the launch of the new EURES portal which enables citizens to have direct access to a wide range of EU job vacancies advertised by public employment services.
The European Year of Workers’ Mobility aims to increase the stagnant share of 1.5% citizens working outside their country of origin, which hasn’t changed in over 30 years. By encouraging job mobility as an important way to develop new skills and knowledge in an EU labour market characterised by high unemployment, the Commission hopes to see an increase in this figure. The year got off to an optimistic start with the recent announcement by "Europe Direct", the Commission's free information service, that mobility was the area raised most by workers and students. In this year of "mobility" ACA hopes that issues of student mobility will be addressed in particular.