Bulgarian EU Commissioner Expects Unfettered Job Rights before 2014

Bulgarian EU Commissioner Expects Unfettered Job Rights before 2014

A number of the older EU member states that still impose restrictions for job-seekers from Bulgaria and its northern neighbor Romania will open their labor markets before 2014, according to Commissioner Georgieva.

"Bulgarians will get the opportunity to work freely in all the countries from the European Union thanks to demographic factors, linked to the aging population and the efforts to emerge from the crisis, which will trigger shortage of work force," Kristalina Georgieva, the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner, told the morning broadcast of Nova TV channel on Monday.

"In this situation it is quite natural that these countries will start to seek people from other countries of the European Union," said Georgieva. In her words the exact date when the older EU countries will open their labor market to Bulgarians is not that important. "There is a clear trend that this will happen. This is what matters most," Georgieva said.

At the end of last month Austrian Labor Minister Rudolph Hundstorfer forecast that ten major EU member states want to keep their labor markets closed for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania till 2014, the maximum period they are allowed. This means that the ten Western European countries in question will wait until the end of the so called transition period of two-plus-three-plus-two - or up to seven - years after Bulgaria and Romania's EU accession in 2007 to open their labor market for Bulgarians and Romanians. According to the Austrian Minister's forecast, these countries will keep the labor restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians as long as they are legally allowed to by EU rules.

Bulgarians and Romanians are already allowed to work without special work permits in the other 17 EU member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

As May 1, 2011, Germany and Austria are the last two EU states that opening their markets to laborers from the 10 Eastern and Southern European states that were admitted to the EU in 2004. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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