Foreign Ministry slams Dutch restrictions on labour force

In a statement to Mediafax news agency, the Foreign Affairs Ministry voiced disapproval of the Dutch government’s decision to implement tougher restrictions on Romanian workers as of July 1. According to the ministry, the restrictive measures do not reflect the Dutch labour market’s actual requirements and do not correspond to the joint objective of supporting the internal market within the EU.

“The topic was constantly in the attention of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, ever since April 2011, when the Dutch ministries involved proposed adoption of those measures,” the statement said. The document also said the ministry, through the Romanian Embassy to The Netherlands, took steps to inform Dutch authorities of the Romanian stance and arguments against those measures.

During various meetings and talks on the matter, the Romanian side showed that Romanian workers, “through their relatively low number – about 3,000 in 2010, and through their fields of activity, especially tourism, agriculture and horticulture, are not a threat to the Dutch labour market, on the contrary, they answer the demand on that market, as they take jobs that Dutch citizens do not.” The ministry said that it would continue dialogue with Dutch officials to identify solutions to the problem.

The new measures, which provide that Romanians, Bulgarians and non-EU immigrants will receive work permits in The Netherlands only “in exceptional conditions,” was also criticised by the EU as violating the right to free movement.

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