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February 1, 2023

European Commission’s reaction to Teodorovici’s proposal on the limitation of the labor market in EU: The free movement of the employees is a fundamental right . Teodorovici harks back to limited work permits in Europe: The talks took place in informal setting

Referring to Eugen Teodorovici’s proposal regarding the limitation of the labor force in the EU member states, European Commission says the free access is a fundamental right, and the Commission has always campaigned for an as equitable as possible internal market.

“-Usually, we don’t comment about comments

-The free movement of the employees is a fundamental right in EU, one of the pillars of the internal market provided in the treaties, and according to the surveys, it is the right which Europeans enjoy the most.

-European Commission’s position was clear since the beginning of this term: creating a more equitable internal market, with a more profound integration, is a key component for building a more social Europe. To work properly, the mobility of the labor force must be based on clear, fair and applicable regulations, for instance by consecrating the principle of equal pay for equal work performed in similar positions by the assigned employees.

-At the same time, through the European pillar of social rights, EU has committed itself to ensure better working conditions and living standard in the entire Union, in the context of the challenges, such as aging of the citizens, globalization and digitalization”, reads the European Commission’s position, delivered through the spokesman Christian Wigand.

Public Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici stated on Tuesday that he proposed to the Finance Ministers in the European Union that each worker should have a limited right to work in a country, namely this right should exist only for a certain period. The official of the Finance Ministry said he raised this issue among his colleagues, the European Finance Ministers.

“The limitation of the right to work. In what sense? I see again news that Teodorovici wants to reform Europe. Well, no, the working permit should be the same, in terms of duration, in all the states. After the first permit, you are not allowed to renew your right to work, to be forced to migrate, in Europe. Otherwise, if someone goes to Germany and receives the right to work, that person who works in Germany will never go back in Croatia, Romania, or the country from which he left. It’s a discussed measure. Five years at most, then ‘Good bye’, after this, you go to another country and seek for a job”, Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici stated.

Teodorovici also said that unlike the Western countries, which need a scheme against unemployment, the Eastern countries, including Romania, need a scheme for the return of the workers that migrated, therefore the approach must be differentiated also here, to ensure a balance.


Teodorovici harks back to limited work permits in Europe: The talks took place in informal setting


Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici pointed out on Wednesday that he did not table at European level a project on time-limited work permits in Europe, and that the talks focused on solutions for the labour crisis in Central and Eastern European countries.

In a statement for the press, the Finance Minister explained that his proposal to limit the duration of work permits came against the backdrop in which Romania is facing a labour crisis caused mainly by migration. Asked whether there is a project in this sense, he said “No.”

“The talks at European level took place in an informal setting but they concerned not necessarily this topic but topics such as the financing of an unemployment scheme – this potential mechanism through which member states would finance such an unemployment scheme at European level is actually a point on the European agenda. Romania didn’t have an unemployment problem, not during the crisis and not now either. So, we had to find mechanisms, at European level, in order to encourage, finance, support, contribute to the labour force’s return to its countries of origin. We can offer an additional package of services, of financing, of incentives to those who want to return to Romania or to another country – this was the goal –, because this was the discussion in European context, not concerning this or that state,” Teodorovici pointed out.

The Finance Minister added that in what concerns the financing scheme there were also other European colleagues, EU finance ministers, especially left-wing ones, who said that we must consider the return of the labour force or encouraging – through fiscal measures or incentives – the return of people to their countries of origin.

Likewise, the Finance Minister denied that he is against the four principles of the EU, recalling that he was involved in Romania’s negotiation process, especially prior to 2004.

“I never harmed a Romanian, nor will I, whether they are in Romania or somewhere else. It’s clear one can only be pro (pro-EU – editor note). So those who are trying to use or have used this statement I made yesterday during a discussion on the Romanian labour force, it’s clear that they are trying to nit-pick, to present a reason, an argument, not being able to invoke arguments concerning the professional side, concerning the Finance Minister, to bring up such conclusions that some have misunderstood. I don’t want to comment on what each person has commented. I thank all those who have sent all kinds of messages. (…) Maybe my wording was unfortunate. My proposal will always be for Romanians, no matter where they are, both natural and legal persons, to enjoy the same rights in Europe, whether they are traveling, living, doing business,” Teodorovici stated.

The Finance Minister recalled that he also stated that any Romanian Government must create an attractive economic and social environment so that those who are in Romania would stay here, those who left would have reasons to return home, and those who want to come to Romania would be able to do so.

“The four fundamental principles [of the EU], including the free movement of citizens, are fundamental principles. If I was a key-person in the Romanian administration in what concerns the accession negotiations and if you ask in Brussels colleagues who are working within the Commission, not necessarily all Romanians in Brussels – you know that the colleagues who are working in European structures have often brought disservice to the country in which they were born –, but the persons representing the Commission and not only them, you will be clearly told the opinion about me: I’m a staunch pro-European. I didn’t propose anything, nor will I propose anything, that would violate the four European principles,” Teodorovici emphasised.

For the Romanians working abroad who are concerned that they will have to look for new jobs in countries other than the ones they are currently in, as a result of the statement made yesterday, the Finance Minister had the following message: “Out of the question. They should be calm because our role as Government and my role as Finance Minister is to fight to protect the rights of Romanians abroad.”

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