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PostSubject: Bulgaria Piles Up Pressure for Unfettered Job Rights across   Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:32 am

[size=85:3rlxjthw]novinite 02 July 2010

Bulgaria Piles Up Pressure for Unfettered Job Rights across Europe

Bulgaria has great expectations for an open door labor market in the ten older member states that still impose restrictions for job-seekers from the country and its northern neighbor Romania, the parliamentary speaker has said.

“All European Union countries should lift the restrictions for Bulgarian workers before the end of 2011,” Tsetska Tsacheva told journalists in parliament.

She has sent letters to the parliamentary speakers in each of the ten member states, which keep their market closed for Bulgarian workers, calling for unfettered job rights.

The step is part of a bigger initiative to extend the free movement of workers to new EU members Bulgaria and Romania across Europe, launched earlier this year by Bulgaria's members of the European Parliament.

“Bilateral talks are ahead of us, but eventually each state will take the decision on its own,” Tscheva stressed.

According to her lifting the restrictions earlier than scheduled will be beneficial not only for Bulgaria, but for the accepting countries as well since it is “a good anti-crisis measure”.

The European Commission has already recommended to the member states to open their labor markets for Bulgarians and Romanians.

The Bulgarian officials, involved in the initiative, have repeatedly said they do not expect all countries to lift the restrictions to their labor markets simultaneously. Their aim is rather to draw the public attention to the issue and pile up pressure on these countries to take this important step prior to 2011.

The restrictions can be kept for another two years, until 2013, if the countries present evidence to back up their claims that the Bulgarian and Romanian job-seekers are a burden for their labor markets.

Belgium is one of the ten EU member states that have kept job restrictions on citizens of the two countries that joined the EU in 2007.

The UK, Germany and Austria have also retained labour market restrictions for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania despite a recommendation from the European Commission that they be lifted.

Bulgarians and Romanians are also required to secure a work permit in order to take up a job in Ireland.

The other EU-25 Member States that have notified the Commission of their decision to continue to apply national law on labour market access after 1 January 2009 include Italy, France, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands.

The presence of eastern European workers is extremely sensitive in Austria and Germany, which border the poorer region and the situation became even worse when recession started to boost unemployment rate.

The European Commission and the European Parliament can only recommend to the member states to open their labor markets for Bulgarians and Romanians, but it is up to the countries themselves to take the final decision.

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