Dutch Minister of Social Affairs proposes further restrictions for Romanian workers

Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs has proposed two more years of restrictions for Romanian workers in the Netherlands. The Minister’s plan is to allow Romanians and Bulgarians to only get jobs that other EU citizens can’t perform and would be valid until 2014. The proposal will be discussed by the Dutch Government on Friday.

Romanians and Bulgarians can receive work permits in the Netherlands from July 1 this year, only in exceptional cases. The same applies to other foreigners outside the EU.

EU 25 countries can temporarily restrict acess to their labor market for Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007. There is a seven-year general transition period, divided into the first two years, when member countries can apply their national legislation, followed by three more years, when they can extend these national measures, if they notify the European Commission. If they do not notify the commission, the EU legislation applies, allowing free access for Romanian and Bulgarian workers. The last two years of this period could allow for an extension of restrictions, in case allowing Romanian and Bulgarian workers would endanger the country’s own labor market, and only if the Commission is notified. The second stage should end in December 2011.

Ten member states currently restrict the access of workers from Romania and Bulgaria to their national markets: Belgium, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, UK, Luxemburg, Ireland. They will be able to keep the restrictions in 2012 if they notify the Commission by the end of this year about the serious damages to their internal labor markets.

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