Bulgarians Cry Foul over Dutch Job Restrictions

Bulgaria in EU | September 9, 2011, Friday // 12:40|  views

Dutch Social Affairs Minister Henk Kamp. File photo

It is getting harder and harder for Bulgarians to find a job in The Netherlands, according to Bulgarian citizens who participated in a meeting dedicated to the issue in Rotterdam.

The current situation is unjust, discriminatory and humiliating, Snezha Angelova, a representative of the Bulgarian community in The Netherlands, commented during the meeting, which was attended by Bulgarian MEPs and local entrepreneurs.

According to Angelova, Bulgarians are not treated as EU citizens in The Netherlands and they have no opportunities to find jobs there, since the authorities in the country demand the employers seek special permissions in order to hire them.

During the last few months, there have been virtually no such permissions granted, Angelova pointed out.

Bulgarians who have suffered from the Dutch job restrictions have sent a letter informing EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Lazslo Andor and Jose Manuel Barroso of the problem.

Bulgarians and Romanians, as well as foreigners from outside the EU, are only granted a work permit in the Netherlands under "exceptional cases."

The Dutch lawmakers passed the measure, brainchild of Social Affairs Minister Henk Kamp, on July 1, despite EU official's warnings that it might harm the freedom of movement, one of EU's fundamental freedoms.

The Netherlands is one of the ten EU member states that have kept job restrictions on citizens of the two countries that joined the EU in 2007. Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, the UK and Malta.

Starting January 1 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians will be free to work in all of the bloc's member states.

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Tags: EU, the Netherlands, job restrictions, Jose Manuel Barroso, work permits


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