POLITICS

Gov’t wants EC to analyse impact of labour market liberalisation

However, Romanian officials expect the restrictions to be extended.

The government will demand the European Commission to conduct an updated study on the impact of labour market liberalisation on EU member states, in the attempt to determine elimination of restrictions for Romanian workers, according to an official document obtained by Mediafax.

In talks with officials of the European Commission and of EU member states that still have restrictions for Romanian workers, Bucharest authorities will insist that liberalisation of the labour market would contribute to elimination of illegal labour and that countries that postponed liberalisation for east-European workers are facing a labour force deficit that cannot be covered the following years.

According to the government’s document, Romanian authorities maintain that liberalisation of the labour market would not increase number of Romanian workers going abroad to seek employment, but would assure a legal framework for the workers already present there.

The document shows however that Romanian officials also expect the restrictions to be extended, given the public’s reluctance to welcome foreign workers in the context of the economic crisis. “At the same time, we must take into consideration the probability that EU member states extend the transitory regime, citing internal political reasons and the public opinion’s reluctance to have workers from other states, against the background of the economic crisis and its impact at social level,” the document reads.

Romanian workers still face labour market restrictions in countries such as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Switzerland and Malta. According to Romania’s EU Accession Treaty, there is a transition period until 2014 for each member state to gradually liberalise Romanian workers’ access to its labour market. At the end of 2008, the EC demanded EU member states that restricted Romanian access to their labour market to lift the restrictions, underlining that workers from countries that joined the bloc in 2004 had a positive impact on other member states’ economies.

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