Dutch Keep Labor Market Closed for Bulgarians, Romanians

Bulgaria in EU | October 30, 2012, Tuesday // 11:28|  views

The restrictive regime for Bulgarian and Romanian workers can be extended no later than January 1, 2014. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The Netherlands has decided to keep the restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers on its labor market until 2014.

This is envisaged by the agreement that the right-wing VVD and Labor party (PvdA) reached, as announced on Monday afternoon when they outlined their plans for government.

The part dealing with immigration and integration says that restrictions on workers from Bulgaria and Romania will be lifted in 2014, while residency requirement to vote in local elections will be increased from five to seven years.

Immigrants will be excluded from welfare for first seven years of residency, while residency requirement for nationalization will increase from five to seven years.

The Netherlands was one of the ten EU member states that announced in the summer last year they are keeping job restrictions on citizens of Bulgaria and Romania that joined the EU in 2007.

The others were Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, the UK and Malta.

At the beginning of the year Italy lifted all restrictions for the access of Bulgarian and Romanian workers to its labor market, effective January 1, 2012.

Germany opened doors to Bulgarian seasonal workers and people having a higher education degree.

In October France eased the access to its labor market for Bulgarians and Romanians, dropping restrictions for a total of 291 jobs (up from 150) in sectors where employers find it hard to recruit staff.

The restrictive regime for Bulgarians and Romanians can be extended no later than January 1, 2014.

Switzerland may impose restrictions until 31 May 2016.

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