MEPs Demand Unlimited EU Labor Access for Bulgarians

Bulgaria in EU | April 25, 2010, Sunday // 13:06|  views

10 EU member states - in red - do not allow free access of Bulgarians and Romanians to their labor markets. Map by wikipedia

Bulgarian and Romanian MEPs have tabled to the European Parliament a declaration demanding the lifting of all EU labor market restrictions on citizens of their countries.

Bulgarian MEPs Evgeni Kirilov from Party of European Socialists and Iliana Ivanov from the European People’s Party, together with Romanian colleagues of theirs, insist that all EU member states lift their bans on Bulgarian and Romanian laborers.

Three years after their EU accession, the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania still do not have the same rights as those of the other EU members, says the declaration of the MEPs which have decided to collect signatures of their colleagues in support of their initiative.

They argue that the free movement of laborers is a founding principle of the European Common Market, and the present way of treating the Bulgarians and Romanians differently perpetuates the divisions within the EU. What is more, they argue that keeping the labor restrictions in place prevents the full utilization of the opportunities for Europe’s economic recovery.

The declaration cites estimates showing that the “old” EU member states which opened their labor markets to Bulgarian and Romanian workers have benefited substantially from that. At the same time Eurostat data shows there has been no exodus of Bulgarians and Romanians to Western European states after the EU accession of their countries.

A total of 15 EU member states – mostly in Eastern, Southern, and Northern Europe – have granted full access to their labor markets to Bulgarians and Romanians. Another ten states – including the UK, France, Germany, and Italy – require special work permits. The labor bans on Bulgarians and Romanians can remain in place till 2014 at the latest.

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Tags: Evgeni Kirilov, Iliana Ivanova, MEPs, Romania, work permit


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