Candidates say curbs to free movement of their people after EU enlargement are discriminatory and may delay negotiations
The candidates say that curbing the freedom of movement of their people in the enlarged EU would turn them into second-class Member States and would disrupt the internal market. The candidates realise they do not have much room for manoeuvre in negotiations on this issue. Slovak chief negotiator Jan Figel expressed hope that the EU would review the ban after the first two years, when they realise there are no economic grounds for it.
Slovenia and Hungary were unhappy with their inclusion in the ban despite being richer and smaller than other candidates. They stressed that the proposal breached the principle of differentiation, whereby each candidate should be assessed according to its own merits. The Commission only exempted Cyprus and Malta from the ban. Slovenian Minister of European Affairs Igor Bavcar said Slovenia will press for an exemption from the ban.
According to EU diplomats, Germany may end up paying for this concession to Spain, which can use it during its stint at the EU Presidency in the first half of 2002 to get a fair share of development and farm aid in negotiations on the key financial issues of structural funds and agriculture.