“We all know the almost hysterical atmosphere surrounding this area. Social dumping! Unfair competition! Taking away our jobs!," said Commissioner Kallas in a speech in Ankara.
According to him the current restrictions within the EU on the free movement of labour are "nonsense," and the present state of this fundamental freedom is "insufficient," since it is "poisoned by restrictions and unfair rules.”
Kallas is in Turkey on a three-day visit, focusing mostly on Ankara's reform progress and its preparations for accession.
In Kallas's assessment, the other 'freedoms' of the EU are equally in need of attention, albeit to differring degrees. The free movement of people is an achievement that "hardly anybody" would want to abandon - but it "cannot be sustained without strong governance." The free movement of goods is "the most developed area, probably, but ostacles exist." Under the existing circumstances, the latest draft of the services directive is the "best possible" way to manage the free movement of services, Kallas said, while "things are not bad at all" as regards the free movement of capital.
On the issue of Turkey's accession preparations, Kallas noted that reforms were slowing in the country and stressed that his goal was to "encourage the Turkish leadership to continue with the reforms."
In response, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul expressed his hope that EU-Turkey negotiations would be "conducted in a positive spirit and on the basis of the principles which were applied to other candidate countries."