Few of the EU's 'older' and wealthier member states continue to restrict access to their labour markets to workers from Eastern Europe, with Germany and Austria the only countries opting to maintain compulsory work permits until 2011.
The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution yesterday (24 May), “highly regretting” the recently-introduced Swiss quotas for workers from the eight Central European countries which joined the EU in 2004. MEPs also blasted Berne for not allowing German and Austrian taxis to take passengers from Zurich airport.
The Bulgarian Economic and Social Council (ESC) suggested that the country's government implement a number of economic measures to encourage Bulgarians living abroad to return home. EurActiv's Bulgarian partner portal Dnevnik.bg talked to ESC Chairman, Professor Lalko Dulevski, about the proposals.
In spite of the positive impact that labour immigration from eastern Europe has had on the British economy, the UK is unlikely to allow workers from Bulgaria and Romania in after the two countries' accession in January 2007.
The Bulgarian government would be well advised to attract workers who have found jobs abroad back to the country, said the chairman of Bulgaria's Economic and Social Council in an exclusive interview with EurActiv partner portal Dnevnik.bg.
In a new report, ECAS says that while the widely feared labour migration flow from East to West has never come about, information on the post-enlargement rights and conditions of migrant workers remains sparse.
According to the Commission's "rigorous analysis of facts", workers' mobility from the new EU member states has had "mostly positive" effects on EU labour markets. The free movement of labour is "economically rational", argues the commissioner in charge. The member states may hold a different view.