Mobility of Labour

The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has a high mobility rate which is predicted to increase, due to free movement of the labour force over the next years. Care must be taken to safeguard fair competition for enterprises in order to secure a sustainable social development of the whole BSR. The aim sought by BSLF is to ensure that norms, responsibilities, conditions, rules and labour relations in each country are the same for foreign and domestic business and employees.

Special attention will be paid to the border regions since they have to deal with many interrelated aspects of labour force mobility. The existing information centres, which offer information to commuters and migrant workers, could complement the efforts of the BSLF.

Cross-border mobility

There are still barriers for commuters in the Baltic Sea Region existing (for example problems in the fields of taxes, labour law and social insurance). Although the existing information centres are aware of these problems, they do not have enough resources to work on these issues. Examples from other regions show that a network of information centres would help to draw special attention to the needs of the border regions. So far there is no structured cooperation between the cross border centres.

The lack of statistics especially on migration is a fundamental problem in this field. With a weak statistical support for decision makers, it is difficult for e.g. politicians to take well informed decisions. There is a special need to find out how many people are working across  borders in Europe.

The recommendation of labour market strategies by the BSLF requires sufficient, sound and comparative data and information. Some scattered sources are available but no systematic approach exists so far. It is vital to develop common indicators as otherwise the data is not comparative. There are rapid changes in the mobility of the region’s labour force and to be able to tackle the challenges stemming from this rapid change the ability to develop management activities and strategies is needed.

Working conditions

A commonly identified problem is the circumvention of rules and labour relations in the economy of the Baltic Sea countries, which has negative consequences to fair competition on the labour market, the position of employees, the general tax morale and credibility of the entire tax function.

It is necessary to safeguard fair competition for enterprises, based on respect for industrial and labour relations as well as decent working conditions and fair treatment of workers. The BSLF members acknowledge that fair economic competition is conducive to a successful and sustainable business environment, and ensuring that norms, responsibilities, conditions, rules and labour relations in each country are equitable and appropriate for foreign and domestic business and employees.