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Radio România Internaţional

1 Ianuarie 2014
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As of January the 1st, EU labour restrictions affecting Romanian and Bulgarian workers will be lifted.

Restrictions for Romanian Workers Abroad


2013 was the last year when EU member countries were able to keep in place temporary employment restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian workers.

In 2014, seven years after Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, these measures will be completely discarded.

Nine EU countries limited the access of Romanians and Bulgarians to their labour markets until December the 31st.

These are Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, France, the UK, Ireland and Spain.

Some westerners however fear that the lifting would trigger an inflow of Romanian and Bulgarian workers.

According to the daily Romania Libera, there is no telling whether such fears are justified.

The daily emphasizes that the main concern is with the so-called “social tourism” – the practice of applying for welfare benefits in countries like Germany or the UK, where these benefits are significantly above the average salary in Romania.

There are tabloids reporting on outrageous cases of Romanian immigrants taking advantage of the EU welfare systems, but their number is relatively low.

In fact, to prevent the prospective abusing of the British welfare system, PM David Cameron has recently announced that as of January the 1st, jobseekers from the EU will not be allowed to claim welfare benefits during the first 3 months of their stay in Britain.

Moreover, jobless Europeans will no longer receive housing aid, irrespective of when they arrived in the UK.

The British daily The Telegraph however notes that EU immigrants are less likely to live on welfare than the British citizens themselves.

The publication pleads for the free circulation of labour force in the EU, as being fully beneficial to the UK and Europe as a whole, in that it leads to a surprisingly efficient use of human resources.

In turn, Deutsche Welle admits that Germany, where demand for skilled labour is high, has long benefited from the arrival of Romanian and Bulgarian physicians, engineers or technicians.

The French daily Le Monde reads that a massive inflow of Eastern European immigrants to France and other EU countries as of January the 1st is not very likely.

According to experts quoted by the publication, two million Romanians are living in southern European countries, particularly Spain and Italy, and only a few of them will probably leave their first host country.

Etichete jobsUKrestrictionsEUemploymentbenefitsimmigrantsGermanyFranceSpainlabour

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