Euro-commuting, sounds new, doesn’t it? The term may be new to a lot of ears, but the concept of euro-commuting is one that has been around for some time and is now enjoying a renewed relevance.
What is a Euro-Commuter?
A Euro-commuter is a person who travels in, around and between EU countries. These people often have employment in one country and hold residency in another. This kind of lifestyle is also referred to as a European Jet-Set lifestyle, similar to Americans who live in one state and work in another.
The EU and Euro-Commuting
Euro-commuting stemmed from the establishment of the European Union or the EU. The EU provided great allowances for member country residents – especially on the work front. Expats of one EU country can work in another EU country without much difficulty. EU rules also made sure that member countries prioritized applicants from within the EU over other expats and contract workers.
Their employment rules gave EU residents more freedom when it came to employment and residency. Gone were the rules that required them to file for work and residency permits – that was no longer necessary. As long as you were a member of the EU, you could work and live anywhere (within the EU) you wanted to. The policy also helped boost the economy of ailing EU members. EU residents who were not able to find good paying jobs in their parent country had the option of finding work opportunities elsewhere.
The EU is a collection of immensely diverse countries. It doesn’t mean that just because they are on the same continent and that they are a member of one union – they are the same. No, there are a lot of differences from country to country. Some EU countries, like the UK, have a very high cost of living while others do not. This also prompted people to live in one country and work in another – thus Euro-commuting was born.
Ever Changing Work Practices
The advancement of technology allowed people to perform all sorts of tasks they were never able to before. Onsite conferences turned into video conferences where board members could be anywhere in the world and still confer – in real time. This means that a company CEO could run his business even if he is miles away from the actual establishment. All he needs to do is pop in every once in a while. Everything else could be done via phone via the internet. So, in theory, he set up shop in the UK and live in France.
The rise of telecommuting has also improved the odds in favor of Euro-commuting. Some people find that they no longer have to work 80 hours a week. Some of them are efficient enough that they can perform an entire week’s work in a day or two. They could then focus on having a life during the remaining days.
The air above the EU is filled with airplanes that transport passengers for very little. This means that travelers could easily go from one country to another without breaking the bank. Some Euro-commuters even find it more practical to block-book their flights. This means that they don’t have to spend time constantly booking flights and dealing with non-availability and chance passengership. Block-booking even saves them money.
Another cheap means of transportation is achieved via the railways. Train fare is cheap and quick too. Plus, cross country trains – unlike inner city ones – are not as crowded. Euro-commuters only have to spend a few minutes on train. They could either sleep through it (for tunnel goers) or watch the landscape whizz by.
Not for Everybody
It is sweet to imagine yourself lazing around the Mediterranean shores during the weekend and only go back to busy London on Monday mornings. But, not everyone can afford this lifestyle. A lot of people who choose to live and work abroad do not have the luxury of Euro-commuting. Unless if they commute between closely neighboring countries – like France and Italy or the Republic of Ireland and UK’s Ireland. That’s still considered Euro-commuting – to some degree.
In general, labor workers and those in the lower rung of establishment, often do not have the luxury of Euro-commuting. They often earn just enough to live where they work and work where they live. Often, those who do practice Euro-commuting are high ranking office workers and those that have their own companies.