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Cameron calls for more open labour market in Europe

The freedom of movement in the European Union has made it much easier for people in the UK to move abroad and many are doing so for lifestyle reasons, with the prospect of living in sunnier climes proving extremely tempting to some.

However, financial and economic circumstances can also drive migration across the continent and lead to more people transferring money to the UK and other countries.

British prime minister David Cameron has suggested that more be done to encourage this trend, as it could be a good way of helping people progress in their careers.

"We must foster labour mobility to create a more integrated and open labour market, for example by advancing the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights for migrating workers," he commented.

Mr Cameron also proposed reducing the number of regulated professions across Europe. This, he stated, could be achieved by introducing a "tough new proportionality test set out in legislation".

The European Commission has been urged to establish a forum that evaluates practices in each member state, so any regulatory barriers can be identified and removed.

Mr Cameron said this could also allow alternative approaches to be examined that "ensure high professional standards". He added that the forum could "assess the scope for further alignment of standards" so professional qualifications can be mutually recognised.

The prime minister made the call in a letter to José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council.

Mr Cameron was joined by other world leaders including Mark Rutte, prime minister of The Netherlands, Italian PM Mario Monti and Andrus Ansip of Estonia.

The letter was sent shortly before the European Commission predicted that the eurozone economy will shrink by 0.3 per cent during 2012. This is down on its earlier estimate that GDP would go up by 0.5 per cent this year.

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