Portugal to lift EU labour barriers

On 1 May 2006, Portugal will open its labour market to citizens of the new EU member states.

Effective 1 May 2006, the citizens of the EU-s new member states will be free to take up jobs in Portugal, the government in Lisbon has announced. The decision to lift the restrictions on the movement of workers from the EU-8 countries was announced by Secretary of State for European Affairs Fernando Neves.

Portugal is thus joining Finland and Spain in opening its borders to migrant workers. The temporary measures came into force on 1 May 2004, when ten new states joined the EU. Exempted from the restrictions have been the citizens of Cyprus and Malta.

Having assessed the first two years of measures, the Commission said that most of the barriers to the free movement of workers had proved ineffectual, and that those three countries that has chosen to welcome workers from the EU-8 states had seen great benefits.

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