MEPs Urge Opening of Labor Markets to Bulgaria, Romania

MEPs Urge Opening of Labor Markets to Bulgaria, Romania

The European Parliament approved Tuesday a resolution urging all EU Member States to allow Bulgarians and Romanians onto their labor markets by the end of 2011.

In a press release, the EP informs that a draft resolution prepared by Romanian MEP from the European People's Party (EPP) Traian Ungureanu, showing that no negative effects have been reported in those Member States that have allowed workers from Member States onto their labor markets, was passed by the majority of the MEPS

"Official figures, including figures from the Commission, proved that workers from Eastern Europe did not generate unemployment and did not put pressure on the social welfare systems. On the contrary, the influx brought economic growth in the destination countries evaluated at around 1% of the GDP," Ungureanu is quoted saying during the discussions.

The press release points out that MEPs are calling on Member States to review their rules on transitional periods and urge those Member States that still impose restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to remove them by the end of 2011, before the final deadline of 2013 laid down in the EU accession treaty.

MEPs further note that in the long run, these restrictions can have a detrimental impact on fundamental values and rights enshrined in the EU treaties, such as free movement, non-discrimination, solidarity and equal rights and condemn recent legislative proposals in some Member States to reimpose labour market access restrictions on citizens from some other Member States. They call on the European Commission to investigate whether such policies violate EU laws.

MEPs have also expressed concern about EU Member States' poor transposition into national law and enforcement of EU legislation on the free movement of workers and especially Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens and their family members to move and reside freely in the EU, and stress that if necessary, the Commission should exercise its right to initiate infringements against non-compliant Member States.

According to the resolution, current procedures for recognising professional qualifications are another big obstacle to workers' mobility in the EU and need to be reformed by the EC. (Source: Sofia News Agency)


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