Cross-border labour mobility in the Central Baltic region

The report studies cross-border labour mobility in the Central Baltic region together with the policies and measures related to that. It provides background information on the current migration flows between Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden as well as information on the national labour markets and current labour demand in each of the countries. This report is the final report of the INTERREG IVA project “CentralBaltic JobFerry”.

Based on statistical data and stakeholder interviews conducted in the Latvia, Estonia, South West Finland and Östergötland/Sweden, the report notes that countries in the Central Baltic region are facing labour shortage in the health care, social services, ICT and construction sectors. There is an increased need for specialised and skilled labour force in those sectors.

The EU has identified cross-border labour mobility as a way to increase the matching of labour demand and supply. However the actual intra-EU cross-border labour mobility remains low. The report identifies the main obstacles to labour mobility based on stakeholder interviews and policy reviews. Lack of language skills, lack of cooperation between relevant labour market actors and authorities, lack of easily available information as well as problems with the portability of pension rights and social benefits are the main factors that impede the mobility of workers in the Central Baltic region.

To tackle these issues, increased cooperation is needed both within countries and regions and across borders. The CentralBaltic JobFerry project has published a separate policy brief presenting several policy recommendations targeted at regional, national and EU level actors.