EU Labor Restrictions Lifted on Bulgarians, RomaniansSociety | January 1, 2014, Wednesday // 08:01| views
Experts say expectations of massive immigration from Bulgaria and Romania are likely unfounded. Photo by EPA/BGNES
On January 1 2014, Bulgarians and Romanians will be able to work anywhere in the European Union as the last of their membership restrictions are lifted.
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Spain and the UK will no longer be allowed to bar citizens from the two countries from coming to work.
The 7-year restrictions, imposed from the moment Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, were the longest permitted under EU rules, meant to allow national labor markets a transitional period.
However in the meantime there has been a rise in anti-immigration parties in several member states while the EU as a whole has seen record-high unemployment rates.
But it is Britain, which has been panic stricken over Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants.
At the end of the year UK PM David Cameron's cabinet announced a crackdown on so-called "benefit tourism", citing fears over mass immigration from Bulgaria and Romania.
The series of measures proposed by David Cameron's cabinet include the restriction on new immigrants who will not get out-of-work benefits for the first three months and payments will be stopped after six months unless they have a "genuine" chance of a job.
But experts say expectations of massive immigration from the two countries are likely unfounded.